Blue Creek Wind Farm Pays Another $2.7M to Van Wert and Paulding Schools and Community
Second year of annual payments benefits counties, towns and schools
Click Here for a PDF version of this press release.
February 23, 2015
VAN WERT, Ohio — Iberdrola Renewables, the owner and operator of the Blue Creek Wind Farm, along with State Senator Cliff Hite and State Representative Tony Burkley, today presented checks at multiple ceremonies to local officials in both Van Wert and Paulding counties to commemorate the second annual PILOT payments the Blue Creek Wind Farm will make to the community.
Van Wert County, with 115 turbines, will receive more than $2,070,000, an amount that will make the wind farm the largest single taxpayer in the county. Paulding County will receive $666,000, based on the 37 turbines located in the county that each pay $18,000 per year. Since the payments will be made in two equal installments this year, the checks presented today were for half those amounts.
“Today’s payments highlight the importance of wind energy to northwestern Ohio. Harnessing the natural resources available in our area has attracted good jobs, produced local economic benefits, and given us energy security. This wind farm is further proof that Ohioans benefit when we work to attract new investment in our rural communities,” said State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay).
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 presentations took place today at three locations: the Paulding County Courthouse, and two Van Wert County schools — Lincolnview and Crestview — which have enhanced their educational capabilities thanks to the wind farm funding.
“Today’s presentation demonstrates that new energy investment in northwest Ohio continues to benefit local farmers and families, and will do so for years to come,” said State Representative Tony Burkley (R-Payne). “This wind farm has already made a positive and long-lasting impact on these communities by creating jobs that can’t be exported, investing in local education, and spreading the benefits around.”
“The opportunities provided by Blue Creek to Lincolnview Local Schools have been overwhelmingly positive and exceeded our expectations,” said Lincolnview superintendent Jeff Snyder. “This year alone, the wind farm funds and the Straight A Grant have enabled our school district to grow from one with two computer labs in the whole district to one that can provide all 915 students with an individual computer. That upgrade has created such a synergy and excitement with our students, teachers, and parents, as we are using new instructional techniques every day in the classroom. In the coming years, we’ll expand on this growth and collaborate with local businesses to provide opportunities for our students and grow the economy here in Van Wert County.”
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. 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.
The Blue Creek Wind Farm also makes 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, 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
Art Sasse, 503-796-7740, 503-475-0330
Dan Litchfield, 773-318-1289