OHIO, June 28, 2017 - Ohio Senate lawmakers have paved the way for new wind power development by advancing a fix to a 2014 wind turbine policy that nearly triples the minimum required distance between a wind turbine and property lines.
Under the Senate legislation, “the minimum setback for any turbine would be based on the height of the wind turbine plus the width of the turbine blade at 90 degrees from the turbine pole, plus another 20 percent,” according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“The Ohio Senate took a stand for the state’s future by aiming to reform burdensome regulation and unleash the job-creating economic potential of Ohio’s wind energy resources,” said Andrew Gohn, Eastern Region Policy Director for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “We applaud the Senate’s leadership on this issue and urge the House to support the setback fix as well.”
According to an AWEA study released in May, restoring the setback rule to what it was pre-2014 would result in over $4.2 billion in local economic benefits. The state is an ideal candidate for wind energy production because it possesses a good wind resource, an abundance of rural land, and access to transmission lines. Moving forward with a fix to siting regulations should make Ohio attractive to renewed wind energy investment.
“Since 2011, EDP Renewables has constructed two wind farms in Paulding County and invested approximately $400 million,” said Gabriel Alonso, CEO, EDP Renewables North America. “The Senate’s proposal to fix wind turbine siting rules will allow wind energy developers to make billions of dollars of investment in Ohio’s rural communities.”
At present, Ohio has reaped nearly 3,000 jobs and $1.1 billion from wind power production in the state. If the legislative fix passes the house, AWEA estimates Ohio could be rewarded with roughly 13,000 jobs and $660 million in local tax payments.