Bucyrus hosts meeting on wind turbine endeavors

By A.J. Kaufman - For the Inquirer

BUCYRUS- The future of Honey Creek Wind, the industrial wind project, was discussed over two hours during a “community information session” Aug. 10 in Bucyrus. More than 100 Crawford Country residents attended.

Live presentations occurred Wednesday evening from a medical professional and a half-dozen Apex employees who attempted to address attendees’ concerns. Following their presentations, there was a question-and-answer session with written queries from the audience.

Apex hoped to dispel rumors about where turbines are made and explain the minimal adverse impact and “net benefit” they believe wind brings to communities.

In May, a resolution halted construction of the company’s 300-megawatt wind farm, which would include approximately 50-60 turbines standing nearly 700 feet tall.

Ohio Senate Bill 52, which became law last July, enabled county commissioners to make decisions about wind farm development. So Crawford commissioners Tim Ley and Larry Schmidt voted to halt industrial wind production and return the decision to voters.

Throughout the early summer, Honey Creek Action — Apex’s political action committee — gathered and then submitted 2,604 signed petitions needed for a fall referendum vote.

Honey Creek’s Ohio Field Manager Tyler Fehrman, who led the signature effort and told the Inquirer in June that “wind energy is good for the economy, it is good for the environment, and it is good for the people of Crawford County” left the project for undisclosed reasons last month.

Apex has for many years leased land in northern Crawford County for its wind endeavors.

County residents and grassroots organizations are concerned about the impact on rural settings, natural wildlife being threatened, and noise from the turbines that can cause nausea, sleep deprivation, and more. “Crawford Anti-Wind” signage can be on rural roads and city blocks. Both pro and anti-wind groups had booths each day at the recent County Fair in Bucyrus.

During its August meeting, the Crawford County Board of Elections is expected to decide whether to certify the issue and place it on the November ballot. Presuming it does, area voters will be the first in Ohio to decide a wind energy referendum.

Apex Project Developer Carmen O’Keefe said she hopes to see turbine construction begin in 2025. Completion takes about a year.

By A.J. Kaufman

For the Inquirer