IT IS TIME TO SOUND THE ALARMS IN OHIO. Ohio Senate Bill 184 which returns measurement of setbacks to homes from property lines has been introduced in the Senate. The bill restores the original setbacks which are 1.1 x turbine height at the tip of the blade to the property line and 1,125 feet from a habitable structure. When these setbacks were first established in 2008, industrial wind turbines were roughly 375 feet at the tip. This, just as Nordex announced its newest turbine for onshore low wind sites. The towers initially available include those with hub heights of 105 to 164 meters (335 to 538 feet) and the rotor diameters have been increased by 18 meters or 60 feet. The new Nordex model has a blade length of 72.4 meters which is 237.5 feet making the rotor diameter 475 feet and the overall height at the tip in a range from 572 feet to 775 feet.
You may wonder why Senator Skindell has introduced this bill. One theory is to establish a mark against which the Hite proposal might seem “reasonable”. Hite calls his idea a “compromise”. He has not introduced anything but he does have language which would measure the setback from a property line at 1.2 times the turbine height at the tip of the blade instead of 1.1. That would equal a minimum property line setback for the new Nordex at 686 feet from the neighbor’s property line depending on the model. Overall the setback would continue to be 1,125 feet from a habitable structure in the Hite proposal.
It is astonishing that while turbine height has nearly doubled in the past ten years, legislators and the wind lobby propose to measure setbacks the same way they were measured in 2008. It is also the height of stupidity to think that a wind developer would not want to have the latest technology that yields the greatest amount of power generation. The older, less productive models will eventually retire and parts for them will cease to be made just like any other product that becomes obsolete.
Senate Bill 184 is sponsored by Democrat Senator Mike Skindell of Lakewood in Cuyahoga County. Skindell is term limited in 2018. He has recruited the following co-sponsors:
Democrat Kenny Yuko, Richmond Heights, who is the Senate Minority Leader from Cuyahoga and Lake Counties. Yuko is serving his first term and is eligible for re-election.
Democrat Sean O’Brien, Hubbard, representing Trumbull, Ashtabula and Geauga Counties. He was first elected in 2016.
Democrat Senate Minority Whip Edna Brown of Toledo in Lucas County. Senator Brown is term limited in 2018.
Democrat Sen. Joe Schiavoni, Boardman, representing Columbiana and Mahoning Counties. Senator Schiavoni is term limited in 2018.
Democrat Senate Assistant Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares of Columbus representing Franklin County. Senator Tavares is term limited in 2018.
Democrat Senate Assistant Minority Whip Cecil Thomas of Cincinnati representing Hamilton County.
This group represents 7 out of the nine members of the Democratic Caucus. None of these co-sponsors live in an area potentially viable for industrial wind development although Ashtabula County is a possibility. IT IS TIME TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS and tell them NO! In introducing SB 184, Skindell’s Office issued a press release which is reprinted below…..
COLUMBUS, OH – From Ohio State Senator Michael Skindell: Today, Senator Michael Skindell (D–Lakewood) introduced Senate Bill 184, which would return wind farm setback standards to what they previously were before the passage of House Bill 483 in 2014.
The standard established in House Bill 483 was inserted in the bill at the last minute and had no public hearings. The legislation more than doubled the distance wind turbines have to be from “the nearest, habitable, residential structure.” The change significantly reduced the number of turbines that could be placed in a wind project.
“Current restrictive setback standards have created a barrier to wind development in Ohio,” said Senator Skindell. “Since 2014, our state has seen a sharp decline in the number of new wind farm applications. Because of such stringent standards, we have lagged behind neighboring states, losing out on local economic development and jobs for our communities. Ohio should be embracing the renewable energy industry and securing clean energy for our future.”…