Library from Ohio
A Senate committee on Monday rolled out yet another version of a bill that bails out the state’s two nuclear plants, but now increases support for renewable energy in Ohio while still promising lower electricity bills for consumers.
Ohio lawmakers are now considering a controversial energy bill, H.B. 6, that would eliminate or weaken the state’s renewable energy standard — a long-sought move by Republicans that would further undermine wind development there. Another legislative effort would increase the risk faced in siting new projects.
In its report, the state agency’s staff recommends denial until the Federal Aviation Administration and the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation are able to complete their analysis of potential impacts to air navigation. The staff also recommended 50 conditions to meet should the board choose to let the project proceed now, anyway.
A group of local citizens have filed to intervene in the proposal for a wind farm in Erie and Huron counties and they have chosen a powerful law firm to represent them.
Wind turbines and private property rights were among the top concerns voiced by area residents at a Republican town hall meeting Monday. Held by the Huron County Republican Party at the New London Public Library, the meeting featured state representatives Nathan Manning and Dick Stein as panelists.
Legislation to gut Ohio’s green-energy mandates and set up customer-funded subsidies to nuclear and coal power plants passed the Ohio House on Wednesday, thanks to key support from several House Democrats. The 53-43 vote on House Bill 6 came after yet another series of last-minute changes to the controversial bill that would allow subsidies to already-approved solar plants, limit property tax devaluation on the nuclear plants, and cap nuclear subsidies if electricity prices increase.
“A great frustration of mine is when those outside of the community are trying to tell us how to run our counties,” Reineke said in the release. “This amendment supplements the current setback law by bringing the final decision regarding a wind farm project to the local township level.” In the release, Reineke said he has received constituent emails and calls that “come into my office repeatedly” about local control. Among the concerns reported, he said.
Wind energy experts are pushing back against a change made to the House energy bill, HB6, that allows municipalities to vote on wind farm projects. Opponents of the change say this will dramatically impact the wind industry.
Opponents are outraged over changes made to the so-called “clean air” bill approved by a House committee. The legislation subsidizes nuclear and coal plants, repeals required support for renewable energy, and strips the ability for wind and solar to receive credits.
The application for the Black Fork wind energy facility was initially submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on March 10, 2011. The project, if constructed would have included up to 91 turbines (up to 200 MW) across 14,500 acres in Richland and Crawford counties, Ohio. There was significant opposition to the project but it was granted a permit by the state. In December 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that OPSB wrongfully granted the project an extension to the date on which construction was to begin from January 2017 to January 2019. The Court found that the change was an amendment to the permit and required a more extensive review process and would subject the project to more onerous state setback distances.
Turbines could soon be twirling as the proposed wind-powered, electric generation facility in Lake Erie has moved another step closer to becoming a done deal.
The bottom line is that this group of big-city representatives along with Stacy want the setbacks reduced so more turbines can be installed in Seneca County, consuming more taxpayer funded subsidies, while ignoring the increased safety risks and quality of life of rural residents. If Stacy truly cared about the well being of Ohio and county residents, she and the other pro-wind advocates would be lengthening the setbacks instead of trying to shorten them. This is exactly what is happening in other states.
Substitute House Bill 6, introduced to members of the Ohio House Energy Generation subcommittee minutes before a scheduled fourth hearing late Thursday, keeps language that would allow utilities and independent retail power suppliers to ignore previously enacted renewable energy benchmarks which top out at 12.5 percent by 2027. Without those benchmarks, wind and solar developers worry that the utility market for their power would weaken.
“None of us are against wind turbines,” Lipaj said. “We’re saying because this project has such huge ramifications for Lake Erie forever that we just need to slow this thing down and research this the right way.” A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field inspector in a 2017 letter also pushed for an environmental impact statement, urging “an analysis of the potential cumulative impacts of facilitating accelerated development of utility-scale wind power in Lake Erie.”
The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on Friday suspended the hearings scheduled in the Seneca Wind Farm case, including the local public hearing previously set for April 23 in Tiffin, and the evidentiary hearing set to begin May 16 in Columbus.
In a six-page filing obtained by The Blade and expected to be entered soon in the OPSB online docket, three lawyers for Utah-based sPower’s subsidiary, Seneca Wind LLC, notified the state siting board that the developer wants to “suspend the procedural schedule and stay discovery” until further notice.
A project to use two wind turbines at Lordstown Village Hall to generate electricity is coming to a close after the village sold both turbines for $1. ...Hill said neither of the turbines have worked for about two years, and they are costly to fix, so the village secured the propellers to stop them from turning to reduce the potential for one to come loose and hurt someone.
“There is no guarantee on how long the wind turbines will last, that being said we chose to have regular taxes paid rather than lower equal payments over the 30 years,” Wilde said. “The difference in the first year would be approximately $1 million and then decrease each year after. But there are variables as to how much they might decrease.”
If the commissioners give in to Apex Clean Energy’s request, the commissioners will be providing excessive upfront tax relief to a project Apex’s own spokesperson said will not affect the project moving forward. Wind companies and wind project get bought and sold all the time, and in my opinion the risk is too great. I have heard from many of you personally and at my recent office hours in Norwalk. I am moved by your pleas and will work to move Ohio forward to ensure our children and our grandchildren have the opportunity to view our county’s picturesque countryside as God intended. I encourage the commissioners to vote no on a PILOT.
Crystal Avenue residents have denounced the proposed wind turbines as an eyesore which would sink their property values and flicker shadows into their homes. They also have expressed concerns that the wind turbines would harm their health.