VAN WERT, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Iberdrola Renewables, along with State Senator Cliff Hite and State Representative Tony Burkley, today presented checks to local officials in both Van Wert and Paulding counties to commemorate the first of the annual PILOT payments the Blue Creek Wind Farm will be making to the counties.
Van Wert County, with 115 turbines, received $2,070,000, an amount that will make the wind farm the largest single taxpayer in the county, equal to the current top 11 combined as of 2012. Paulding County received $666,000, based on the 37 turbines located in the county that each pay $18,000 per year.
“This is proof that state policies are doing what they were intended to do: generating tremendous local economic development as well as clean energy. Ohio Senate District 1 has abundant wind resources and we look forward to more investments like Blue Creek,” said State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay).
As the wind farm is spread across two counties, six townships – Tully, Union, and Hoaglin in Van Wert County and Benton, Blue Creek and Latty in Paulding County – and four school districts, the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) funds will be spread far and wide too. The townships will each see an average of $1,400 per year per turbine. With 76 wind turbines, Union Township will see a revenue boost of about 25-30% in 2014 compared to 2013.
“These funds support projects and services that benefit everyone across the region, from schools, public safety and public health programs, to road repairs,” said State Representative Tony Burkley (R-Payne). “It’s great to see this kind of investment in northwest Ohio, and it’s better to see the benefits have such a positive impact on the people who live and work here.”
The school districts will see the lion’s share of revenue. With 81 turbines spinning within its boundaries, Crestview Schools will see about $850,000 per year in new revenue, a boost of about 10%.
“This is my 40th year in education and I don’t think I have ever seen a source of revenue like this offer itself to a school district like this,” said Crestview Superintendent Mike Estes. “It’s really a windfall for us.”
The approximately $600 million wind farm was the largest single private investment in Ohio in 2011 and achieved commercial operation in June, 2012. Even before the plant became operational, building Blue Creek created more than 500 construction jobs, $25 million in local spending, and put more than 30 Ohio companies to work on the project. Blue Creek [video, photos, fact sheet] is the largest wind farm in Ohio and Iberdrola Renewables’ largest in the U.S. The total output is 304 megawatts (MW) and it generates enough electricity to power 76,000 average Ohio homes each year.
“With great wind, supportive communities, great workers, and we hope a stable regulatory environment, wind should continue to have a bright future in Ohio,” said Neil Voje, the Blue Creek plant manager. “We’ve built strong partnerships here, and we’re hopeful we can do more.”
The Blue Creek Wind Farm has already begun making approximately $2 million in annual lease payments to local landowners. Of 28,000 leased acres of corn, soybean and wheat fields, Blue Creek occupies less than 200 acres.
Iberdrola Renewables is also proud to have sponsored numerous partnerships in the local community, including:
- Flat Rock Creek Festival
- Friends of the Paulding Chamber, Inc.
- Iberdrola Renewables Scholarship Fund administered by the Van Wert County Foundation
- John Paulding Historical Society
- Paulding County Youth Baseball
- Van Wert County Convention and Visitors' Bureau (Rib Fest)
- Van Wert County Historical Society
- Van Wert Elementary School book fair
- Van Wert County Junior Fair
- Vantage Career Center
- Village of Convoy Fire Department
Iberdrola Renewables, LLC is the U.S. renewable energy division of parent company IBERDROLA, S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world. Iberdrola Renewables, LLC is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has more than $10 billion of operating assets totaling more than 5,800 MW of wind and solar generation. www.iberdrolarenewables.us