July 16, 2011
LEIPSIC — Easements are in place for 75 wind turbines in Van Buren and Blanchard townships in northeastern Putnam County. This was the news Martin Kuhlman, Putnam County Community Improvement Corporation director, told Leipsic Chamber of Commerce members Thursday during their monthly meeting. Kuhlman gave an update on the progress of a 75-unit wind farm planned in northeastern Putnam County by Iberdrola Renewables. The farm is expected to produce 150 megawatts of electricityKuhlman said the company has submitted its application to the Ohio Siting Board and hopes to have the application approved by the end of this year, Construction is expected to start in April, with a tentative completion date at the end of 2012.“There are two reasons they chose this area for the wind turbines,” Kuhlman told chamber members. “This area has the highest elevation in the county, thus providing the wind needed for the wind turbines.” He said there is also a substation at Pro-Tec the company can use as a connection point for the electricity generated. Kuhlman said this substation could also be used if there were an expansion in the number of wind turbines.Kuhlman said they continue to seek an extension on Senate Bill 232. Senate Bill 232, passed in 2010, provides tax incentives for alternative energy sources if they meet certain deadlines, including completion by the end of 2012. If the company does not meet the deadlines, the alternative tax rate would have to be based on an enterprise zone agreement. Once completed, the windmills are projected to provide 10 to 15 permanent jobs for maintenance and operation of the wind turbines.