LEIPSIC — A proposed wind energy project near Leipsic that started in 2011 is back on track according to Jim Johnson, project developer with Iberdrola Renewables.

Johnson said they withdrew seeking permits for the project in 2012 because of a problem with the interconnect with Pro-Tec Industries. He said since then they have been working with Pro-Tec, AEP, the Putnam County Community Improvement Corporation and Leipsic village to determine a solution for this problem. A separate substation across the road from the existing North Leipsic Substation has been determined to be the solution for the problem.

Johnson said they are now meeting with the Putnam County Commissioners, Putnam County Engineer and doing the required environmental studies needed for the project. He said they don’t have a timeline yet for the project.

Iberdrola already has easement agreements with 200 landowners in this area. Johnson said this will mean Iberdrola will provide an estimated one million dollars in annual direct revenue for these landowners for the use of their property. He indicated that although it initially takes 5-6.5 acres per wind turbine for construction, the land is put back in it’s original condition and only a small part where the wind turbine is located, reduces land used by the landowner.

“Our goal is to bring as much land as possible back to full production,” Johnson said.

Formerly there were 75 turbines, each producing 2.0 MW, planned for the area. Because of more recent improvements in the efficiency of wind turbines Iberdrola now plans only 45 wind turbines that will each produce 3.3 megawatts for a total project capacity of 150 megawatts.

“We are working with the engineer’s office to determine the best roads to use for the installation of the wind turbines,” Johnson said. “Sometimes we have to go in and upgrade the roads.” He said after construction of this type of project Iberdrola also pays to bring the roads back to their former condition.

Iberdrola officials plan to meet with the Putnam County Commissioners again on April 17 to discuss their policies, existing energy zone and ordinances.

“Policies are what attracts investments,” Johnson said. Johnson said the wind turbines will be beneficial to the local school district and other government entities. In Van Wert County, Iberdrola Renewables is the largest single taxpayer in the county. This total is divided among all the taxing bodies where the wind turbines are located. Crestview Schools receive about $850,000 per year in new revenue.

Initial figures from Iberdrola Renewables indicated their would be over $1.3 million in annual payments to local taxing bodies.

story created on Tuesday 4/1/2014 at 3:44:04 pm by Nancy Kline