Library from Ohio
After House concurrence this morning on Senate amendments made Thursday night, which reduce the voluntary time period from three years to two, that leaves the fate of Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards in the hands of Republican Gov. John Kasich, who has opposed efforts to extend the state’s clean energy “freeze.”
Clean-energy standards would become optional for the next two years under a bill that passed the Ohio Senate late Thursday night and then passed the House early this morning. That sends it Gov. John Kasich, who has hinted that he will veto it.
In a 12-5 vote, the committee recommended a plan that, among other things, would make optional the state's renewable-energy standards for the next three years.
Under the combined project, Hog Creek proposes to focus on only one turbine model that reflects updated technology, decrease the total nameplate capacity of the combined project, adjust turbine sites, and adjust access road and underground electric connection locatiorrs accordingly.
“If wind farms cannot be developed without borrowing or stealing their neighbors’ nonresidential property in order to satisfy the setback, health, and safety requirements, then perhaps they should not be developed at all,” state Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) asserted in comments filed on October 31 with the Ohio Power Siting Board, of which Seitz is a non-voting member.
A national birding organization based in suburban Washington is working with northwest Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory again on a lawsuit to block the Ohio Air National Guard’s plan for a commercial-scale wind turbine along the western Lake Erie shoreline.
Black Swamp Executive Director Kim Kaufman and ABC's Michael Hutchins, director of the conservancy's Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign, said they support clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind power. But they maintain that "the Great Lakes are not a good place for large-scale, commercial wind energy projects," particularly in a region designated as a Globally Important Bird Area.
A wind farm in Hardin County will begin construction early next year and power Amazon data centers.
Environmental groups from Spain, France and the United Kingdom have now joined North American organizations in opposing a plan to build a pilot wind farm in western Lake Erie, near the Ohio shore, along the U.S. side of the border.
COLUMBUS — A proposed road use and maintenance agreement between Platte County and a company constructing a wind farm turned into a discussion on whether the project is being completed in an upfront manner.
The U.S. Department of Energy is looking for the public’s input on what would be the country’s very first fresh water wind farm. The project known as Icebreaker, consists of six wind turbines located 8 to 10 miles offshore north of Cleveland.
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a challenge of the way state officials approved a wind farm in Champaign County.
But government officials, legal experts and opponents of the Lake Erie project say many hurdles remain before construction can begin. The company has yet to receive the go ahead from a litany of necessary state and federal regulatory bodies.
Iberdrola Renewables, has filed a lawsuit in Ohio to prevent two state agencies from making public what it calls “trade secrets.” The legal action comes after an Ohio bird conservation group, Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), asked to see bird and bat mortality data for Blue Creek.
CLC and Union Neighbors challenged the agency's refusal to consider the higher cut-in speed proposal. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of CLC, stating that "[FWS] failed to comply with its NEPA obligations when it failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than Buckeye’s proposal."
“We conclude the (wildlife) service failed to comply with its NEPA obligations when it failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than Buckeye’s proposal, and we reverse the district court on that point,” [Circuit Judge Robert L.] Wilkins stated.
A U.S. Appeals Court ruling provided mixed results for a proposed wind farm in Champaign County. ...The court ruled that the federal agency used the correct standard to show Everpower minimized the impact but failed to consider other alternatives that would have led to fewer bats killed.
"The Service knew, at a minimum, that Buckeye claimed a full nighttime option was not economically viable, and it was aware of other, more viable measures that would still take fewer bats than Buckeye's proposal - Union Neighbors repeatedly suggested using a cut-in speed higher than 6.0 m/s," Judge Robert Wilkins said, writing for the three-judge panel. "Yet the Service failed to consider any higher cut-in speed in either the draft or final [environmental impact statement]."
The legal dispute was generated by an Ottawa County birding organization, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Oak Harbor, which contends that bird death data held by both federal and state agencies is public information. Blue Creek Wind Farm LLC, which operates a wind farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio and Allen County, Indiana, says releasing its bird and bat kill reports would provide "trade secrets" to its competitors.
In the decision, commissioners said Everpower didn’t meet all the requirements of the application and failed to show why the project would have a positive impact on the local economy. ...Commissioner’s also cited a public meeting where about 40 residents spoke out against the project and only the developer spoke in favor.