LEIPSIC — Iberdrola Renewables, a Spanish company, is considering construction of a wind turbine farm in Van Buren Township in the northeast corner of Putnam County near Leipsic.
Martin Kuhlman, of the Putnam County Community Improvement Corp., confirmed the company approached him about getting an enterprise zone agreement for the wind turbine farm. Jim O’Connor with Iberdrola Renewables said they are considering the site for a 75-turbine farm that would generate150 megawatts of electricity.
Kuhlman said the company has proposed an enterprise zone agreement that would provide a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years. Since this initial proposal, Gov. Ted Strickland signed into law a bill that exempts renewable energy companies from tangible personal property taxes and real estate taxes.
Putnam County Commissioner John Love said they are looking at the new legislation and how it will affect the county, school and township on tax revenues.
“We’re trying to make sure it is a win-win situation,” he said.
Instead of property taxes, wind and solar energy companies will pay $6,000 to $8,000 per megawatt produced according to the new law.
“This makes Ohio more competitive with other states in the area of taxation,” said Putnam County Commissioner Vincent Schroeder.
Putnam County Auditor Robert Benroth said the new law also addresses farmers who lease their lands to be used for wind turbines.
“Their land will still be taxed under agriculture use,” he said.
Kuhlman said the state siting board has to first approve an application for the company.
To be eligible for the tax break, the company would have to begin construction by Dec. 31, 2011 and be operational by Dec. 31, 2012, according to the law.