This week we saw some media coverage on HB 190 which seeks to effectively undo the increased setbacks enacted last summer for industrial wind turbines. We have also received word of the wind industry’s relentless lobbying of County Commissioners and the County Commissioners Association. We would like to implement a counter campaign with billboards in the districts of the sponsors, Rep. Burkley and Rep. Brown.
A big story this past week comes from the U.K. where the Conservatives won what was to some, a surprising victory with the election of David Cameron and other Conservatives. This is great news. The report below notes: “Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat who served as energy secretary in the previous coalition government, lost his seat as his party suffered a rout that will leave the Conservatives to govern alone. While the Liberals were sympathetic to renewables, Conservatives have stressed security of energy supply and local people’s right to halt wind farms that some consider eyesores. “ Cameron has pledged to halt all further onshore wind development.
And looking at the growing field of Republican Presidential challengers, we should not forget Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who has been very out front on the issue of industrial wind siting. In 2011, Walker proposed setbacks of 1,800 feet from a property line. Subsequently, the Brown County Health Department designated wind turbines as a health hazard due to low frequency noise at the Shirley Wind Farm. The legislature in Wisconsin did not extend setbacks further than their current 1,250 feet from a dwelling. The Wisconsin Realtors Association has sued and the courts should decide the matter later this year. In the meantime, Governor Walker has included $250,000 in his budget to study the health impacts of industrial wind.
And up north in Huron County, Michigan, the local fight is on as new projects are on hold until siting revisions can be made at the County level. The proposed changes to existing regulations have elicited the same kind of howls from wind developers that we too often hear in Ohio. Funny, but if you only listened to the Ohio Industry, you would think that our setbacks and restrictions are the only ones in the world. Read below and you learn a different story. Among the proposed changes to Huron County industrial wind zoning are:
• Turbines three miles from shoreline. Previously, not regulated
• Shadow flicker: max 10 hours/year for non-participating residences; 30 hours/year at participating. Previously, not regulated.
• Property setbacks: 1,640 feet from non-participating residences; 1,320 from property line. Previously, 1,320 feet…
A new bill introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives seeks to change wind turbine setback regulations which would enable wind energy companies to work within Ohio counties to license new wind farms. The legislation, House Bill 190, is co-sponsored by local representative Rep. Tony Burkley along with Representative Tim W. Brown (R – Bowling Green)….