Take note of the comments by Senator Cliff Hite because he ‘almost’ sounds like he could change his mind about BigWind’s mandates in Ohio; although, we still think he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Maybe Milo Schaffner, who lost the election against Senator Hite, should be creditted for helping to bring this discussion to the forefront…
Within the past few days, the future for wind energy in Van Wert County has taken an almost 180-degree turn. Whereas land deals were signed and in force, plans and maps were drawn up, and it appeared that Dog Creek Wind Farm in the eastern half of the county would soon join Blue Creek Wind Farm to the west, two recent changes from Columbus may have reversed the momentum locally.
Last Friday, Senate Bill 310 was signed into law by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, putting a two-year hiatus on renewable-energy standards in the state. Then Monday, Kasich put his signature on House Bill 483 without using a line item which would have eliminated stiffer requirements for setbacks of wind turbines from property lines….
Concerning the immediate future of Dog Creek Wind Farm, Litchfield would only say, “We are currently assessing our options for future investment in Ohio, but there’s no question that more investment in Ohio just became a much riskier proposition….
Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite, a wind energy-backer, explained that with changes in the marketplace, perhaps having 25 percent of the state’s energy coming from renewable energy by 2025 needed to be re-examined.
“It was time to have another look at exactly what we were doing with our in-state standards and making sure that the average Ohioan is getting the best bang for their buck,” Hite shared. “That was the purpose of this. Things have changed since we set up those standards. We didn’t know about natural gas and the supply that exists today. That has kind of changed the game a little bit as far as what does give the best bang for your buck. It’s a competitive game and a it’s market game and we have to look at it and try to find out what is the best we can do for Ohioans. So to have a pause for a couple of years is not a bad thing.”
Both pieces of legislation were recent considerations for lawmakers in Columbus. It is likely that protests by those opposed to new and current wind farms helped to inspire both the setback changes and the two-year halt on advancing renewable-energy standards. In April Iberdrola held a town hall meeting at Lincolnview High School in which some vocal demonstrators sparred with company representatives.
“There was a lot of talk in Van Wert County during the primary that was very anti-expansion of wind projects,” Hite noted. “That discussion became a part of our discussion as well.”..