BigWind ‘pouts’ as Ohio citizens gain a voice

Yesterday afternoon Representative Bill Reineke worked to get language that he drafted into the new version of current bill HB 6. This language establishes a local vote by effected Townships within a given industrial wind turbine project. This would happen only after the project goes through the currently in place process with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). Only if the OPSB grants a particular wind turbine project its build certificate would this proposed legislation apply. At that point a petition could be filed with the County Board of Elections that consists of 8% of the total votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election would add a referendum vote within each affected Township.
This still allows projects to move forward if a given Township votes to support the industrial wind turbine project. A majority vote of 51% of voters would be required. Otherwise, the project would NOT be able to be built in that given Township due to a lack of supporting votes. This proposed legislation answers our pleas for more local control in the siting of industrial wind turbine projects.
The new language reads:”Establishes a procedure for electors in the unincorporated areas of a township to submit a referendum petition to approve or reject a certificate issued by the Power Siting Board for a wind farm that is to be located in whole or in part in the township. Provides that the certificate is invalid if rejected at the referendum by electors from all participating townships. Requires the Power siting Board to modify the certificate if not all participating townships’ electors reject the certificate. Applies the referendum only to Major Utility Wind Farms (50 or more megawatts) and Economically Significant Wind Farms (5 to less than 50 megawatts, except for those that are 5 to less than 20megawatts that meet certain requirements). (R.C. 519.214, 4906.10, 4906.101, 4906.13, 4906.20, 4906.201, 4906.203.)”
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Wind energy experts are pushing back against a change made to the House energy bill, HB6, that allows municipalities to vote on wind farm projects. Opponents of the change say this will dramatically impact the wind industry. Listen Listening…

The referendum provision reflects ongoing local battles among landowners who do and don’t want wind turbines in northwest Ohio.

                                                 Map of Wind Energy Projects in Ohio

Dayna Baird, American Wind Energy Association, says developers already spend years and millions of dollars…

A few residents testified in committee that they want the ability to make the decision among themselves.

Environmental advocates say this creates an unfair process for wind energy compared to other energy sources…

https://www.statenews.org/post/energy-bill-adds-wind-farm-referendum-option-communities

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