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Ottawa Co. Commissioners discuss renewable energy restrictions

WTOL|Chase Bachman|September 28, 2022
OhioZoning/PlanningPhotovoltaic Solar

Commissioners in Ottawa County invited the public to talk about wind and solar projects Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was intended to gather information and plans from townships about restrictions on new large solar and wind energy projects, before taking action on a resolution that would restrict projects in the county.


Commissioners agreed to push back the conversation to October to give townships more time to gather information.
 
PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Commissioners in Ottawa County invited the public to talk about wind and solar projects Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was intended to gather information and plans from townships about restrictions on new large solar and wind energy projects, before taking action on a resolution that would restrict projects in the county.
 
Ohio Senate Bill 52's passage last year made the resolution possible, giving counties the power to restrict new renewable energy projects. Renewable energy developers would need input from townships before approval by a county's board of commissioners and the Ohio Power Siting Board.
 
However, the commissioners are moving the meeting back a month to give people more time to take a more informed position.
 
"That'll give everyone enough time," Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Coppeler said. "If they want to contact their township trustees, they can. They'll have plenty of time to do that."
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Commissioners agreed to push back the conversation to October to give townships more time to gather information.
 
PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Commissioners in Ottawa County invited the public to talk about wind and solar projects Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was intended to gather information and plans from townships about restrictions on new large solar and wind energy projects, before taking action on a resolution that would restrict projects in the county.
 
Ohio Senate Bill 52's passage last year made the resolution possible, giving counties the power to restrict new renewable energy projects. Renewable energy developers would need input from townships before approval by a county's board of commissioners and the Ohio Power Siting Board.
 
However, the commissioners are moving the meeting back a month to give people more time to take a more informed position.
 
"That'll give everyone enough time," Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Coppeler said. "If they want to contact their township trustees, they can. They'll have plenty of time to do that."
 
Coppeler said if nothing changes by the next meeting on Oct. 25, the commission will vote on the resolution then.
 
"If we don't hear anything from the township trustees changing what they've already presented to us, then we'll take action on the resolution at that time," Coppeler said.
 
Kimberly Kaufman, the executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, argued to move the meeting back 30 days because the language of the resolution was unclear and township trustees needed more time to make an informed decision.
 
"We'd like the opportunity to have entire communities, as much as possible, involved in making a decision that can have a profound impact on their way of life," Kaufman said.
 
She said she isn't opposed to renewable energy, but wants to restrict the use of wind turbines in the county because they don't fit the rural setting of the county.
 
"When you move out into the country, you don't anticipate living in the shadow of a 700-foot machine," Kaufman said.
 
Kaufman also said that, most importantly, turbines would be a problem for an area that sees millions of migratory birds. She said the turbines would be responsible for a dangerous decline in bird populations.
 
"Wind turbines in an area where we have massive concentrations of birds would be catastrophic," Kaufman said. "It's not the right renewable energy, but fortunately we have other options."
 
Kaufman advocated for solar technology because it would fit better within the county's infrastructure.
 
The next meeting will be on Oct. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Ottawa County Courthouse.

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Source:https://www.wtol.com/article/…

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