Seneca Wind gets state certification

The state has certified Seneca Wind as a qualified energy project, establishing a fixed payment in lieu of taxes throughout the operational life of the project, sPower announced Monday.

Based on the proposed 212 megawatts of nameplate capacity and the 30-year expected lifetime of the project, this would result in $56 million of revenue from sPower, the developer and owner of Seneca Wind, to be divided among schools, townships and Seneca County.

“This is a significant milestone for Seneca Wind, which will bring revenue and economic activity to Seneca County and deliver clean energy throughout the region,” Gordon Gray, director of wind for sPower, stated in a release. “We are grateful to the state of Ohio for issuing this certification, and to the people of Seneca County for engaging with us throughout our process.”

The company says Seneca Wind’s participation in the qualified energy project program creates requirements meant to ensure local and regional benefits for years to come including:

• In-state employment: At least 50 percent of full-time equivalent employees employed in the construction and installation of the project are to be Ohio residents.

• Renewable energy education: sPower is to establish a relationship with an Ohio university or apprenticeship program to support education and training for careers in the wind industry.

• Road improvement and repair: sPower is to upgrade roads, bridges and culverts to support construction. Following construction, sPower is to repair all roads, bridges and culverts to pre-construction condition. Also, the company is to post a bond to ensure funding for the repairs is provided.

• Emergency response training: sPower is to provide training for fire and emergency responders and provide the proper equipment to enable them to respond to emergency situations.

Seneca Wind is to consist of up to 85 wind turbines on about 25,000 acres of privately leased land in Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden and Bloom townships, providing energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year. The Ohio Power Siting Board is to review Seneca Wind’s application as part of a public process that would determine final approval of the project.