Library from Ohio
Once the darling of the U.S. wind energy industry and a success story that made it a presidential photo op, Bedford Heights-based Cardinal Fastener is now set to close. ...However, Cardinal survived neither its own rapid growth nor the recession intact, and in 2011 it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was sold to Wurth.
A research group says a new law freezing the state’s green-energy standards has led to significant declines in the wind and solar industry in Ohio. But Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler says the study is getting some blow back from a key backer of that law.
Ohio’s two-year timeout on its mandate that utilities get more of their power from renewable and advanced technology sources has dampened investment in what were once booming solar and wind industries in the state, according to a study released Tuesday.
"Over 850 Ohio residents who are threatened with the prospect of industrial wind development in their communities sent a letter to Governor Kasich outlining the repeated and continuing failures of the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to protect them from loss of their property rights and respect adjacent property owners right to protect and enjoy their property," Ledet said.
The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved plans for another 764 commercial wind turbines, but state rule changes and federal tax policy have most of them in limbo now.
Ohio’s wind energy industry is balking at a largely ignored provision of a massive environmental bill overwhelmingly approved in the House this week, arguing it is designed to throw one more wrench into its turbines. ...The language would allow the state Department of Natural Resources to impose additional fees on wind farms based on the killing and injury, or “take,” of wild animals.
“The more people know about these turbines, the less they like them,” Ledet said. “We need to be persistent in helping other people understand why this wind farm can’t sensibly be crammed into the area the wind farm has targeted for development."
The use of renewable energy in manufacturing, meanwhile, hovers at 8% to 9%, and it’s not guaranteed to soar. A June study by the International Renewable Energy Agency found that the figure could grow to more than a quarter by 2030, or a third if some form of carbon pricing takes effect—or, under current deployment plans and government policies, it could stagnate at 10%.
In their request for re-hearing, attorneys for UNU argued Everpower should have been required to file a request to amend the certificate, a more lengthy process that would have allowed for public comment and testimony. The request also argued the siting board lacks the authority to approve the extension through a motion submitted to the board.
“Although market forces have hindered the project’s development, the electric generation market has experienced other changes recently (several coal plants are expected to retire in the near term), and generation capacity is anticipated to be needed for Ohio and the region,” an attorney for the company told regulators.
The company cites market forces as another reason for the delay; local shale gas production has made electricity prices cheaper, and federal environmental rules in effect next year will take tens of thousands of fossil-fueled megawatts off of the nation’s electric grid.
How long before the American taxpayer gives wind farms and their supporting politicians the boot? As long as we give the handouts, there is no reason for the wind industry to become a responsible, viable, economical business. The only “green” in wind farm is the green in the pocket of wind farm investors.
Kevin Ledet, of rural Greenwich, spoke at Tuesday's Huron County Commissioners meeting and said now that the windfarm is approved, it's important the commissioners do not approve an alternative energy zone or any other type of tax abatement for the windfarm so, at least, the county can reap the full benefit of the project.
Meeting Monday in Columbus, the board approved a plan to run a power line that will stretch from Fremont to near Sandusky. The board said the Hayes-West Fremont 138 kilovolt Transmission line will bypass Peninsular Farms, a historic property near Fremont. A previous proposed route had threatened the farm.
Everpower Renewables, the company in charge of the project, has sought an extension of the certificate citing several ongoing legal fights over various aspects of the project. However, opponents have argued the company has already had a chance to request an extension and because there are two phases of the project that should be treated separately.
This letter, signed by each member of the South Central Board of Education, was submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board in reference to the proposed Greenwich wind energy facility to be located in Huron County, Ohio. The 60 MW project would span approximately 4,600 acres and consist of up to 25 turbines, each at 2.4 MW. The project was approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board in August 2014. The content of the letter is provided below. The actual letter can be downloaded by clicking the link on this page.
Steelmaker ArcelorMittal on Tuesday paid the state of Ohio $227,667 after discovering that its energy services division did not buy quite enough electricity generated by wind and solar in 2012.
Champaign County prosecutors are opposing a request from Everpower Renewables, a company that is seeking an extension to begin construction on the first phase of the Buckeye Wind Project.
He noted that critics of the energy standards have two years to come up with an alternative. “If they don’t give us something that works, we go back to the old standards,” he said. He defended the increased setback restrictions on wind turbines by saying, “Private property rights are important. People choose to live somewhere. You just don’t go in there and disrupt their life.”
Everpower’s attorneys are seeking an extension until May 28, 2018, to begin construction. The project’s certificate had been approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board in 2010, but expires in March of next year, according to court documents.