Yesterday, the Ohio Senate members of the General Assembly’s
Renewable Energy Study Committee were announced. We will be curious to see if Senator Cliff Hite will be as aggressive as he has been in the past in supporting the wind industry. Hite represents much of the area targeted for wind development including all or part of Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams Counties. We have provided portions of their biographies (at bottom) of all Committee members and note there are significant Farm Bureau connections.
We also provide information on one of the Vorys firm’s other client’s –
Blackfork Wind being developed by Element Power, another UK based entity
which is owned by a private equity firm, Hudson Clean Energy Partners.
Hudson has offices in New Jersey and China. A Hudson issued a press release
this week about its success in raising $91 million. One third of these funds
will support Element’s wind developments in Northern Europe. Reading the
company’s profile, we note their commitment to “risk mitigated”
opportunities. Risk mitigation seems to be provided by U.S. Treasury
through the PTC, local PILOT and state mandates. We hope that the Study
Committee clearly comprehends that it is the taxpayer and the ratepayer who enhance the return on investment for these private equity players and their limited liability subsidiaries….
Element Power has requested an additional two years to build its 200MW Black Fork wind farm in the US state of Ohio, citing project delays and the prospect of a better market for wind power in a few years. Element, which is backed by Hudson Clean Energy Partners, the renewables-focused private-equity firm, received its construction permits for the 91-turbine Black Fork project in 2012.
But Black Fork, Element’s only project in Ohio, engendered significant local
opposition, ultimately landing the project in the Ohio Supreme Court. Last
December the court upheld Element’s right to build Black Fork, located in
north central Ohio.
Element’s existing construction certificate runs to January 2017, but the
developer has requested an extension to January 2019…
Ohio Renewable Energy Study Committee
1. Senator Troy Balderson (R) is currently serving his second General Assembly
in the Ohio Senate, representing the 20th District, which encompasses all of
Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Morgan, and Muskingum Counties, as well as
portions of Athens and Pickaway Counties. He is currently the Chairman of
the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. Tapping his vast knowledge on energy issues, Senator Balderson has been
appointed to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy &
In addition to his committee leadership responsibilities, Senator Balderson
serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture
Prior to joining the Ohio Senate, Balderson served in the Ohio House of
Representatives, where he was named to the powerful House Finance Committee and also presided as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural Resources….
As part of his effort to best serve the district, Senator Balderson stays
very active in the community including being a member of the Genesis Health
Care Advisory Board, the Cattleman’s Association, the Muskingum County Farm Bureau and the National Rifle Association….
2.As a farmer, business owner and former county official, Bob Peterson ® has devoted much of his time and attention to solving the challenges facing our communities. He now brings that same attitude and drive to the Ohio Senate as he works to improve all of Ohio. Bob represents the 17th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson,Pike and Ross counties as well as portions of Lawrence, Pickaway and Vinton counties.
A farmer by trade, Senator Peterson and his family are the eighth generation
of Petersons to farm in the U.S. Peterson raises corn, soybeans, wheat and
livestock on his family’s farm. He also has been active in the Farm Bureau
in a variety of leadership positions, culminating to his position as Ohio
Farm Bureau President for nearly five years… He also served as a member of the budget-writing Finance Committee, the Agriculture Committee, the Energy & Natural Resources Committee and the Insurance & Financial Institutions
Committee….Peterson received his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, and is also a graduate of its LEAD Program, an intense two-year agriculture leadership program that features extensive experience in economics, environmental issues and state and national political processes….
3. Bill Seitz (We know he is a friend of the consumer, ratepayer,resident, so info was not added)
4.Senator Cliff Hite is currently serving in his second General Assembly as a member of the Ohio Senate, representing the 1st Senate District, which encompasses an 11 county region of Northwest Ohio including all or part of Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams Counties. Prior to his appointment to the Senate, Hite served two terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. For the second time during his tenure in the Senate, Hite has been tapped to preside as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture….
5.Senator Shirley A. Smith (D) was elected to the 21st Senate District of the Ohio Senate in November 2006 after serving eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives as the State Representative for the 10th House District in Cleveland. Senate District 21 encompasses Wards 2 through 12 and 14, Bratenahl, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, Garfield Heights, Newburgh Heights, and University Heights….
Smith serves as Ranking Member of the Government Oversight Committee and sits on the Finance Committee, Criminal Justice Committee, the Public
Utilities Committee, and the Agriculture Committee….
6.Capri S. Cafaro (D) has represented the 32nd Ohio Senate District since January 2007 when she was appointed to the 127th General Assembly. Cafaro’s district encompasses Ashtabula and Trumbull counties, located in Northeast Ohio. As of 2013, portions of Geauga County have been added to her district as well….She serves on the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee, as well as the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, and the Legislative Service Commission. In 2008 she was named a Friend of Agriculture by the Ohio Farm Bureau… In 2009, Senator Cafaro was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Speech and Hearing Coalition, the Ohio Farmer’s Union, AMVETS Department of Ohio, and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers’ Association and the Soybean Association for her leadership and support of Ohio’s bio products industry and Ohio agriculture….