FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Seneca Wind is a proposed wind project in Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden and Bloom Townships in Seneca County.
sPower acquired the project in fall of 2017 from Exelon, which previously purchased it from John Deere.
No. Republic Wind, owned by APEX, is a separate wind farm that straddles Seneca and Sandusky counties. The projects and sponsoring companies are not related.
As proposed, Seneca Wind is a 200 MW wind farm using up to 85 wind turbines and will be built on approximately 25,000 acres of privately leased land. Wind farms vary in sizes, with the largest wind farms in the United States producing thousands of megawatts with hundreds of turbines.
We have updated our maps to show clearer labels. We are providing a copy with this question-and-answer document and also will be putting it on our website.
The state of Ohio established setbacks of 1,125 feet from tip of the turbine blade to the property line of the nearest adjacent property. In practice, that will require setbacks of about 1,300 feet from each turbine’s base. By comparison, the setback for drilling of an oil or gas well is only 100 to 200 feet from a habitable residence.
It will provide income for participating landowners and provide $56 million in PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) revenues during the life of the project. These revenues will be shared among schools, townships, the county and the state. In addition, construction and operation of the project will result in direct and indirect economic benefits throughout the surrounding community. It also will provide enough clean energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year. Because the project is privately funded, no cost to the community will result, including those necessary for upgrades or repairs to infrastructure.
Final approval rests with the Ohio Power Siting Board, which reviews applications for construction of major utility facilities (such as the project) as part of a comprehensive process that includes public input. This review includes a comprehensive evaluation of the range of potential impact issues, including confirmation that appropriate setbacks and other standards are met that minimize impacts to the community and environment.

The meeting we held on April 17 began the public review process. At this meeting, Seneca Wind was required to inform the community about its plans to file an application with the Ohio Power Siting Board and gather input from the public. Comments received were addressed in the application document. The Project application was submitted to the Siting Board on July 16, 2018. Siting Board staff are now reviewing the application to make sure it’s complete. It usually takes about 60 days for this review to conclude.

Assuming the application is complete, the Siting Board will deem the application complete and copies of the application will be provided for local community review. The Siting Board then begin its formal application review process, with Siting Board staff’s technical experts and other Ohio agencies contributing to the evaluation. Information from the applicant, the public, and from a Siting Board staff site walk will be incorporated in this review process. The Siting Board staff then prepares its report, which will include its recommended decision and potential conditions, about two weeks before a public hearing is held the project’s location. This hearing, which will be scheduled and advertised in advance, provides an additional opportunity for community members to provide written or verbal input. It usually takes 60 to 90 days from the time the application is deemed complete until the public hearing is held.

After considering all of the information gathered during the investigation and at the public hearing, the Siting Board will hold an adjudicatory hearing to allow parties in the case to provide sworn testimony and cross-examine witnesses. Only after this is complete will the case be directed to the Ohio Power Siting Board for a formal decision.

We hope to have a Siting Board decision by January 2019.

Interested parties can submit written comments during the application review process and testify in person at the public hearing. More information is available at the Siting Board website, by calling 1-866-270-6772 or through email using contactOPSB@puc.state.oh.us.
The Ohio Power Siting Board application will include a preliminary assessment of the roads anticipated to be used for project construction, and a commitment that the project will enter into an agreement to ensure that roads are left in the same or better condition than before project construction began.
Wildlife studies have been conducted in the project area since 2009. Studies of bats, eagles, waterfowl and some other wildlife resources are ongoing. These studies have identified areas that will be avoided by turbines and other wind farm infrastructure, potential operational restrictions under certain conditions, and plans for ongoing monitoring. Seneca Wind is consulting with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan, an Eagle Conservation Plan, and a Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy that will avoid and minimize impacts to species that use the project area. These studies will be presented and reviewed by the Ohio Power Siting Board as well.
The Geotech borings are 60 feet deep.
Seneca Wind will work closely with individual landowners to identify existing drainage tiles to the extent possible. Where drainage tiles are unavoidably disrupted, Seneca Wind will make appropriate repairs at the project’s expense. This is expected to be a condition of the Ohio Power Siting Board process.
No effect on water quality is expected as a result of the project. The project will not use water, other than drinking water, in its proposed operations and maintenance building. The setbacks in the project design will make sure that no turbines are located near the wells of non-participating landowners. In addition, materials such as lubricating oils will be stored in areas designed for containment, while rigid spill prevention practices and emergency procedures will be designed to prevent their release.
There’s no direct evidence of adverse effects on human health when wind turbines are sited properly. At present, there are roughly 60 scientific peer-reviewed articles on this issue. The available scientific evidence suggests that shadow flicker, low-frequency noise, infrasound, and electromagnetic fields from wind turbines are not likely to affect human health. Because environmental noise above certain levels is a recognized factor in a number of health issues, siting restrictions have been implemented in many jurisdictions to limit noise, and we expect the Siting Board to restrict noise levels to certain limits. The required setbacks in Ohio (a minimum of 1,125 feet from property lines) also conservatively protect residents from the effects described above.
Seneca Power intends to apply for a Production Tax Credit from the Internal Revenue Service.
No. We will place turbines only on land where owners have voluntarily negotiated a lease agreement.
We will remain engaged with local leaders and residents throughout the application and construction process. We will provide periodic updates to community members to let them know as milestones are approached or reached, and will work with the local media to keep them informed of our progress. We also will answer inquiries as quickly as possible as we receive them. For now, people can use the contact information listed on our website, www.senecawind.com.
About sPower: sPower, an AES and AIMCo company, is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States. sPower owns and operates a portfolio of solar and wind assets greater than 1.3 GW and has a development pipeline of more than 10 GW. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a worldwide energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. For more information, visit www.spower.com
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