County fights wind


COLUMBUS – Champaign County commissioners and Goshen Township have filed an objection in the Buckeye Wind case.

EverPower’s proposed Buckeye Wind halved its planned turbines from more than 100 to approximately 50 when it merged its two previously state-certificated wind projects in December 2017 while applying for an amended certificate. Then on April 3, Buckeye Wind requested the deadline to begin construction be extended from May 2018 to May 2019.

The request for extension to 2019 prompted the county and the township to object in an electronic filing to the Ohio Power Siting Board on May 3.

Issues that concern the two local governments, according to the May 3 filing, include the lack of including the request for extension when Buckeye Wind merged the projects and filed the amendment application in December; the variation in setbacks that has resulted in changes of state law over the 10 years since Buckeye Wind first began the certification process with the state; concerns about mismatched requirements regarding road use maintenance and decommissioning conditions that apply to Buckeye Wind I and Buckeye Wind II; and Buckeye Wind’s own delays in start of construction that objectors say are not solely related to opponents’ litigation.

In the conclusion of the objection filed by the county and the township on May 3, the following statement was entered into the record: “For the foregoing reasons, Champaign County Board of Commissioners and Goshen Township Board of Trustees request the Board not extend the Certificates for an additional year until the issues set forth herein regarding setbacks and consistencies regarding the conditions of the two Certificates is resolved. The undersigned prays that the Board, in the alternative, merge this request for extension of the subject Certificates into the pending amendment cases … to determine if the extension request meets the current statutory guidelines and that the Board take no action to extend such Certificates until hearing and opportunity for public comment.”

Staff report

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