Greenwich Neighbors United (GNU) a group of property owners began their journey over a year ago, and they continue to fight and grow in numbers. During the summer of 2014, a small number of residents started discussing the proposed wind park development that might come to their community. The Greenwich Windpark is seeking authorization to place 25 wind turbines, each 490.5 feet tall with propeller diameters of up to 383 feet and covering 4,650 acres of land in Greenwich. (Greenwich is a village in Huron County, Ohio with a population of 1,476 residents.)
Several members of the community began educating themselves about the impact the industrial-sized wind turbines would have in their community. “At first, some of the residents thought that a couple small windmills would be cute,” said Kevin Ledet, Chairperson of GNU. “However, after the residents learned of the size of the wind turbines with constant noise, flicker effect and ice throws close to their property lines, the more they wanted to stop the big wind corporation from developing in their backyard.”
GNU started with a handful of neighbors and has grown to over 100 members. The group has held public meetings, bake sales, raffled off home-made pies, put informational brochures in pizza boxes, held a soup and song event in the winter and an ice cream social in the summer all to educate the community and to raise funds to make sure that the voice of the residents of Greenwich is heard and presented in an effective way.
Although the big wind developer had their application for certification granted in August, 2014 and had plans to start construction in the Fall of 2014, the small community of Greenwich has been able to delay and hopefully halt the company from starting construction. The Application for Rehearing, filed by OMEGA Crop Co., was granted by the Ohio Power Siting Board and no decision has been made yet on whether this wind park will be developed.
Ledet stated, “It’s been a David vs. Goliath fight since day one, however our community isn’t afraid. We will continue our battle to protect our property rights and the beautiful land for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.”
HISTORY OF GNU AND WHY THE FIGHT CONTINUES
Held first meeting of GNU at Greenwich Memorial Park.
GNU held informational meeting at the Public Library in Greenwich.
Dennis Albert a member of GNU began construction of GNU’s web site www.greenwichneighborsunited.com. A valuable asset that should be utilized by anyone seeking more information on wind development.
GNU began distributing anti-wind turbine signs throughout the community.
Held a meeting at the Rural Coon Hunters where Phil Hartke gave a presentation about the impacts of noise (infra sound) on his son’s home by an industrial wind complex in Illinois.
Many member of Greenwich Neighbors United filed letters with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) in opposition to the Greenwich Windpark development.
GNU met with Senator Manning and Representative Boose to discuss the wind park and their concerns.
GNU, through OMEGA Crop Co., filed a late motion to intervene. The OPSB denied the motion.
Letters of support for GNU and a request for a second public hearing were filed by Senators Manning, Seitz, Skindell and Representative Boose.
The South Central Board of Education passed a resolution to oppose the Greenwich Windpark.
Members of GNU traveled to Van Wert OH to view wind turbines in operation
GNU scheduled a public meeting to educate the community about the dangers of the potential windpark. Experts on the impact of wind turbines made presentations, along with Sam Randazzo, the attorney for GNU. Senator Manning, Representative Boose, and a number of county commissioners and township trustees participated in the meeting.
An application for rehearing was filed with the OPSB. Hundreds of comments supporting the application for rehearing were filed by GNU members.
Senators Manning and Seitz and Representative Boose also filed letters in support.
Members of GNU traveled to Ithaca MI. to view the Nordex N117 turbine in operation. Information is available on web site.
Members of GNU were invited to the Huron County Trustee Association dinner to give a short presentation about the industrial wind turbine projects proposed for Huron County.
The OPSB approved OMEGA’s application for rehearing.
Members of GNU continue to file letters of opposition with the OPSB, and wrote letters to the editor in local papers.
GNU continues to educate the community through information sheets in pizza boxes.
The community gathered for Chili and Conversation in a fun event, with discussion about the proposed wind turbines and a raffle to raise money for GNU.
GNU sent out weekly releases and updated the website to continue to educate the community about the wind park.
GNU filed comments with the OPSB on their proposed rules (Case No. 12-1981-GE-ORD). These rules deal with the proposed setback requirements for wind turbines.
Members of GNU travel to Lansing, Michigan to attend the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition (IICC) Energy Summit.
A soup and song fundraising event was held with over 70 members of the community attending on a frigid and icy night. Matt Missey, a local celebrity and wood carver entertained the crowd and donated one of his original wood sculptures that was auctioned off.
GNU sent their story to the Ohio Energy Mandate Study Committee urging them to either repeal or indefinitely suspend any further escalation in energy mandates compliance quantities. The letter include over 60 different press articles that have appeared in the local papers regarding GNU and their efforts to halt the erection of wind turbines in Greenwich.
GNU sent a letter to the new Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio/Ohio Power Siting Board asking him to grant OMEGA’s application for rehearing and hold another public hearing in the community to hear the concerns of the residents firsthand.
Over 70 members of the Greenwich community and surrounding area attended an ice cream social and raffle to benefit GNU. The adults and kids all enjoyed the food and games, but the main focus was educating the community about the need to keep up the efforts on stopping the wind turbines from being installed and ruining the tranquility and peacefulness of Greenwich.
The proposed Greenwich Windpark is pending at the Ohio Power Siting Board, Docket Number 13-990-EL-BGN. Although the OPSB did grant a certificate to the wind turbine developer, OMEGA filed an application for rehearing and it was granted. The OPSB has not ruled on the application for rehearing, so the case is still undecided.