Posts tagged ‘wind turbine’

National Wind Developing Wind Farms in Northwest Ohio

I had an opportunity to attend an invitation-only meeting on September 1, 2009 for Northwest Ohio Wind Energy. National Wind is the manager and developer of Northwest Ohio Wind Energy. The purpose of the meeting was to educate landowners in the footprint of Northwest Ohio Wind Energy (NWOWE) about: 1) NWOWE, 2) National Wind as a manager, and 3) to discuss the concept of community wind.  Community wind is is generated by turbines that are at least partially owned by local landowners and other members or entities (such as schools). NWOWE is currently in the process of securing land and hopes to secure 30,000 acres, with a projected construction date of 2011.

This model of wind power development is different from the model proposed by Iberdrola and Horizon Wind Energy, which are also both securing land contracts in Van Wert and Paulding Counties. Unlike Iberdrola or Horizon, the NWOWE plan allows for community ownership of the project and potentially higher payments to the landowners.  The proposed wind farm from NWOWE  will have an output of 300 MW. There are some similarities with all three companies. All have robust provisions for fixing drain tiles, which is a major concern for this part of Ohio where topography is very flat and subsurface drainage is critical. Disruptions are unavoidable during the burying of transmission lines. The lines are set four feet underground and sometimes drain tiles are cut as the lines are being buried. Again, all three companies, Horizon, Iberdrola, and NWOWE offer various ways to repair those cut drain tile.

NWOWE is using National Wind as the project manager. National Wind has developed a 50 MW Jeffers Wind Energy Center in western Minnesota that has been in operation since 2008. National Wind also has one project totaling 169.5 MW in eastern North Dakota operating as M-Power Luverne Wind Farm.

The success of this and other wind projects in Ohio hinges on the Ohio law enacted last year establishing an alternative energy portfolio standard.  This is a government mandate that by the year 2025 Ohio utilities must purchase at least 25% of their electricity from alternative sources. Of that 25%, half must come from renewable electricity sources, such as wind. Fufrthermore, over half the renewable energy (6.5% of all Ohio electricity purchased) must be generated in-state. So long as this law is not repealled, there is strong incentive and upside for wind development projects in Ohio.

September 3, 2009 at 8:15 am 3 comments

Wind Resources in Ohio

The US Department of Energy has a very nice full-color map on Ohio wind power resources. The map shows wind resources, but more importantly the location of transmission lines. Transmission lines are a major part of any utility-scale wind turbine project. Strong winds are important in a wind turbine project, but transmission lines are the key.

Ohio Wind Resources Map

August 26, 2008 at 7:00 am

Wind Lease Contracts for Landowners

In Van Wert County, Ohio we have several Wind Energy Companies shopping landowners for acres. I have seen lease and payment arrangement terms for two of these wind energy companies. I won’t give you specific details of each lease, but I’ll share some commonalities. Frankly, the leases and terms are similar for the most part. OK, here we go:

Phase I – Research

  • lasts 3-5 years
  • meteorlogical (referred to as ‘met’) tower(s) erected
  • payment can be as much as $2000 per year per landowner

Phase II – Construction and Operation

  • lasts 30 years with option to extend the contract for an additional 20 years
  • density of turbines and number of landowners involved varies per project
  • payments to an individual landowner are based primarily on number of turbines and/or electricity generated (note: other factors come in to determining payment, but to a lesser extent)
  • 80 acres with one turbine can provide $5,000+ per year to a landowner (this may or may not depend on power generation); assume 1.8-2 MW turbine
  • lease may or may not include payment adjustment based on Consumer Price Index; lease payments based on MW generation will likely not have CPI adjustment

Phase III – Renewal or Decommission

  • after 30-50 years the project will be renewed
  • if the project becomes obsolete, the project will be decommissioned


Wind energy development is definitely a hot issue in my locality. It is important to point out that the companies working in my area are interested in developing utility-scale wind farms, not wind farms for individual use. The projects are in the 100-300 MW range, which translates roughly into 100-200 wind turbines.

Speaking with the the companies that are interested in my area, the availability of utility grade transmission lines is a big asset. Van Wert County has a 345kV transmission line bisecting the county east to west. Now the question becomes, do we have the wind necessary to make wind farms feasible?

August 15, 2008 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Wind Energy Meeting Planned

Horizon Wind Energy

Modern Wind Turbine; Photo credit: Horizon Wind Energy

Next to labor, energy is the single most expensive operational input for many industrial, commercial, farm and small business operations. Residential energy consumers in rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods are looking for ways to control energy costs too.

Van Wert County business and community leaders, as well as interested residents are invited to attend a special energy issues briefing, sponsored by the Van Wert County Farm Bureau, Van Wert County Extension Office and the Economic Development Committee. The briefing will be held at the Van Wert County Extension Office, on Thursday, July 31st at 7:00 p.m.

The program will feature Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) Director for Energy Services, Dale Arnold. “Energy development is a key issue for Van Wert County,” Arnold said. “The area is being considered by energy service providers as a center for large, utility scale wind and biomass energy projects. Local companies want to tap into new manufacturing opportunities energy initiatives offer. Moreover, government and community leaders want to know how advanced and renewable energy generation can make an impact on their utility bills.”

During the course of the briefing Arnold will discuss current federal and state legislative initiatives that identify communities such as Van Wert County as key areas for energy development. He will report on how several Ohio communities are already working with energy developers to establish utility scale wind energy projects. Also, he will discuss how project developers, government leaders, utilities and community members could work together to create and implement local energy development plans.

“Alternative and renewable energy development offers local communities a variety of new economic opportunities,” Arnold said. “All parties interested in these projects bring unique resources that, used in combination, create a win-win situation for everyone involved. These collaborative efforts and partnerships can generate success.”

Arnold has been OFBF Director for Energy Development since 1995. He represents farm and rural residential energy consumers on the Ohio Department of Development’s Ohio Wind Work Group and Biomass Task Force, as well as consumer advisory boards with Columbia Gas of Ohio, American Electric Power and Vectren. He is a member of the Green Energy Ohio board of directors. Over the past several years he has been involved with community electric and natural gas aggregation projects, utility-scale and on-site renewable energy generation and creating public policy that provides more opportunities for consumers to control their energy costs.

July 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm 2 comments


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