Republican Ohio Senators ‘stay the night’ to pass SB 310 !

NW Ohio wind turbines

Hallelujiah! At about 1:00 this morning the Senate voted to adopt SB 310 to freeze the renewable energy mandate.  NextEra, a wind developer, says we have won “for now”.  But it is a big win and we believe a strong case can be made for why the mandate harms ratepayers while enriching the investment banking community.  At the end of the day we think this is more about money than it is about energy.  Next week the House will begin hearings on the bill and it is expected to pass.  A study committee will be formed and the work will begin again.  

Elsewhere, UNU (Ohio) filed its reply brief with the Ohio Supreme Court. The brief addresses the Constitutionality of the in-state mandate.  This will be the last document filed before the oral arguments in the court which will likely take place in the fall.    

 We also understand from a recent conversation with a Congressman, that the Production Tax Credit may not be extended this time.   Iberdrola announced today the abandonment (for now) of a project in New York  with local reports saying: ““It lines right up with what the town has been sharing with anyone who’s been asking us,” he said Wednesday. “Iberdrola withdrew their local application quite a while ago, and we have had no communications with them. If the tax credits both at the state and federal level aren’t there, these projects are not economically viable.” (town supervisor, article from Times 5/8/14 Developer withdraws aplication for Horse Creek Wind farm in Clayton)…

Do you like the photo of NW Ohio above? It has a profoundly true caption on the website states that ‘wind turbines generate electricity on a farm straddling Paulding and Van Wert counties in NW Ohio’. They can’t say A LOT or MUCH, as we know the truth is very LITTLE (probably 25% of what they advertised to us before building). Remember, Ohio is not even ranked in the top 20 states for wind power potential and our capacity factors are pathetic, at below 30%- and that is for the new turbines. Capacity factors drop as turbines age….

The Ohio Senate early today passed a two-year pause in annual increases in the state’s “green” energy standards, following days of negotiations with Gov. John Kasich’s office and in spite of adamant opposition.Senate Bill 310 passed 21-11. Senators did not finish debating the bill until after 1 a.m….

“One of the essential tenets of this debate has been how to best protect ratepayers,” said Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati.

Senate Republicans had hoped to include a provision that would allow households to opt out of paying for some of the standards on their electricity bills. Lawmakers said they removed that part of the bill at the insistence of Kasich’s office.

That was one of many last-minute changes that rankled some senators.

Supporters say the continued escalation of the standards will lead to costs that exceed the benefits, which will lead to increases in electricity bills.

 

via Bill to pause green-energy standards passes Ohio Senate | The Columbus Dispatch.

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