Ohio wind warrior, Julie Johnson, represents more than just Ohioans who live in Champaign county…safe setbacks protect our citizens, our property rights, our property tax base, and our peace of mind! Will Amazon build a distribution center in the middle of one of these industrial wind turbine sites? Nope. Will Amazon actually power one of their sites, entirely, with wind energy? Nope, not from Ohio, because our winds ‘suck’. Will the Amazon leaders live in the middle of an industrial wind site? Nope. Enough said. Hypocritical?….
The massive online retailer Amazon has weighed in on a proposal aimed at aimed at making it easier to locate and run wind farms in parts of Ohio, saying the state’s current restrictions make it unattractive to build turbines in the state….
But the current, tougher standards are important to protect property owners living near the turbines, testified Julia Johnson of Champaign County. Johnson is a member of Union Neighbors United, a group of residents opposed to the Champaign County wind farm.
“I am here to express the opposition and anger of my community and the hundreds of voters across Northwest Ohio who have worked so hard to protect our property and families with reasonable setbacks from industrial wind turbines,” Johnson testified….
Amazon is working with EDP Renewables to develop a 100 megawatt wind farm in Paulding County under the state’s older, looser rules.
But Ohio’s current restrictions are chilling future investment, said John Stephenson, manager of U.S. public policy for Amazon in testimony on Ohio House Bill 190.
“Unfortunately, Ohio’s wind turbine setback standards enacted a little more than two years ago have significantly diminished the attractiveness to further investments in wind generation in Ohio,” Stephenson said. “In fact, the current setbacks have acted as a moratorium of sorts on new wind development.”
Amazon is bulking up its presence in Ohio, where it has previously announced plans to build two new distribution centers and create as many as 2,000 jobs. The company is also developing data centers in central Ohio.
“Amazon believes the substitute version of HB 190 strikes a balance that would allow wind development in areas of Ohio where it makes the most economic and operational sense and will help bring Ohio more high-tech operations that increasingly depend on renewable energy,” Stephenson testified….
But reducing the distance turbines must be set back from property lines would create safety and noise concerns for residents living in a wind farm’s footprint, Johnson said. She described the proposed bill as a gimmick to repeal the previously established setbacks.
Johnson testified that there are good reasons for the stricter setbacks. She cited nuisances like noise, moving shadows from the turbine blades, and also argued the turbines can affect property values.
“People ask why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have generated so much support in the campaign for president,” Johnson testified. “It is because people are angry and this bill is the kind of legislation that fuels that anger.”