Group says deal leaves door open for more wind turbines near Indian Lake


RUSSELLS POINT — A representative from a group aimed at stopping a wind power project in Logan and Hardin counties said that a recent deal struck still leaves many residents high and dry.

Hardin Wind, a subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. based in Pittsburgh, will construct up to 176 wind turbines and associated electric transmission facilities in Hardin and Logan counties. The project, called the Scioto Ridge project, originally was planned to cover 17,000 acres of leased private land in the two counties and is planned to produce up to 300 megawatts of power.

Matt Butler of advocacy group Fight The Wind consolidated with a local group, Logan-Hardin Neighbors United, to fight the project. The group had pointed to several different reasons for blocking the project, including health, safety, tax abatements, and risk to wildlife as some of the reasons. Homeowners near Indian Lake feared the project would hurt local tourism.

Logan-Hardin Neighbors United broke off from Fight The Wind and reached an agreement with Everpower in January, a deal that prevented the turbines from being built within 2.5 miles of the lake.

“The goal was to stop the entire project,” said Matt Butler of Fight The Wind. “We didn’t want part of any deals. We are trying to make the public aware that there are many people who didn’t get a deal.”

Butler said the deal still left about 62 percent of the project intact, much to the dismay of many of the remaining homeowners still inside the footprint of the project. Butler said that Fight The Wind feels there should be no compromise and that all residents living in the project are just as important as others.

“Compromising in this manner perpetuates the not-in-my-back-yard ideology that many people use to discredit what FTW feels are the serious issues associated with siting industrial wind turbines too close to homes and families,” Butler said.

The deal reached by Logan-Hardin Neighbors United and Everpower will still allow turbines to be seen from Indian Lake. Butler said Fight The Wind believes that if any turbines are allowed to be built in Logan County it will only facilitate the construction of many more across the county. With an Alternative Energy Zone that gives automatic tax breaks in place in Hardin County, the concern is that once construction starts there it will only attract more developers who hope to take advantage of the favorable tax structure.

Representatives from Logan-Hardin Neighbors United were unable to be contacted by phone and did not immediately answer an email for comment on the issue. Representatives from EverPower have not returned messages left for comments.

“The members and families working with FTW remain committed to stopping the Scioto Wind Project for all of those affected and remain more than concerned that the deal made between Everpower and LHNU will result in the remaining residents living in an industrial zone,” Butler said.

By Lance Mihm

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Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.

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