Sent to the Mercer County Outlook on 10-6-17
To the Citizens of Northern Mercer County:
I am reaching out to bring to your attention wind turbine activity that is occurring in your area. Apex Clean Energy, the owner of hundreds of land rights in southern Van Wert County, has recently been attempting to secure land rights from property owners in northern Mercer County – without any notification to the public or local governments. Apex Clean Energy’s current land rights were acquired by the initial efforts of the wind development company known as BP Wind Energy North America. The development they have been working on is called Long Prairie Wind – with the goal of putting up as many wind turbines in the area as possible.
Because your livelihood and the well-being of your land is important, I would like you to be aware of this proposed large scale industrial wind turbine project that Apex Clean Energy is attempting to develop and how you, as landowners, can help protect your land. Under the current structure of siting for large industrial wind turbine developments, local officials have limited/no authority when it comes to helping regulate these large landscape altering projects. Instead, this authority currently resides with the Ohio Power Siting Board. The only real and tangible method to preclude a landscape altering development across a multiple township area is for the company (Apex Clean Energy) to be unable to acquire land rights in a geographic foot print to site.
I respectfully request that all landowners who are approached by Apex Clean Energy, or any other wind development company, educate themselves about the significant rights they are granting before signing any contracts.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Land
- Educate yourself on the effects wind turbines will have on your area and the people living around them before signing any contracts or granting land rights to any wind development company.
- Talk and network with neighbors about the impact a large industrial wind development will have on your community.
- Consult with legal counsel that is well versed in this segment of the law before you consider signing the 30+ page contract.
- It is likely the wind companies approaching you will promote that the highly subsidized activity of large scale wind development will be a financial benefit to the local economy. Please note, they are not able to quantify the potential multiple decades-long degradation and negative impacts these large industrial developments present to all the people in an area.
James A. Wiechart, P.E., P.S., Mercer County Engineer