Ohio lawmaker seeks to tighten wind farm development
In a move that worries wind farm developers, an Ohio state senator has added language to a budget bill that would create stricter rules for wind farms in the state, Midwest Energy News reports.
The proposed rule would require measurements of sound and flicker effects from wind turbines that could affect adjoining properties, as well as additional bird monitoring.
- Critics of the provision say it would put a further damper on wind development in Ohio, which has already has effectively “banned” wind farms.
It can be hard to tell which way the wind blows in Ohio. In 2014, the state froze its renewable portfolio standard, prompting some Ohio businesses to urge state lawmakers to reinstate the measure in order to foster job growth.
Meanwhile, Amazon in October announced plans to build a 189-MW wind farm in Hardin County, Ohio, that would power its web services in Ohio and Virginia starting in December 2017.
But a provision to the state’s budget bill by state Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) would make it more difficult to build new wind farms in the state.
Critics say Seitz’s provisions “effectively zoned new wind projects out of the state," Miranda Leppla of the Ohio Environmental Council wrote in a filing with the OPSB. "Simply put, the Ohio Revised Code is overly restrictive, and effectively has halted new large-scale wind development in Ohio. Such development is critical for Ohio to reduce carbon emissions and harmful air pollution from the power sector."
This isn't the first time a lawmaker has sought to restrict clean energy development in the state. Beyond the renewable and efficiency freeze, another lawmaker introduced legislation in September to make the renewable energy targets voluntary.
Instead, lawmakers have said the uncertainty surrounding the Clean Power Plan since its stay means utilities need more certainty on emissions and environmental regulations before restarting clean energy development.
- Midwest Energy News Against the wind: Ohio lawmaker pushes for stricter rules on wind development
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