BigWind tries to ‘huff and puff’ Ohio House down

As the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee gears up for its first hearing on HB 6, the opposition is flooding the print media with articles and opinion pieces that argue against the provisions of the bill, advocate for closing the nuclear plants and reducing wind turbine setbacks.   An assortment of articles is provided below. 

In a disgusting turn of events, the Icebreaker Wind developer, LEEDCo, is asking senators for a portion of the funding that would be made available through HB 6.  Democrats have proposed numerous changes to HB 6 including an Icebreaker subsidy.  Recall that Icebreaker is a pilot project designed as a test to see if putting 1,500 wind turbines in Lake Erie is feasible.   They don’t seem to care that it would be in the middle of the world’s third most important migratory flyway.  Senator Sandra Williams was quoted as saying LEEDCo  wants an earmark of 10₵ for every dollar raised in the Clean Air Program.  They are shameless enough to not even pretend that their subsidy would be based on the amount of power they produce.

“LEEDCo leadership is meeting with senators to discuss the importance of Ohio being the first location in North America to build a freshwater offshore wind facility,” spokeswoman Nancy Lesic said. “Our goal is for leadership in Columbus to recognize the economic significance of this project and provide the necessary support to allow us to access federal and international investments.”

One definition of being “green” is to pursue policies and actions that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment.  Being green means having the smallest ecological footprint.  This is achieved in energy generation by utilizing resources that have energy density.  Generation sources that are not dense are called “dilute” .  Wind and solar are dilute.   Jim Feasel does a density calculation and determines that 33.65 of Ohio’s 88 counties would be covered with 600 foot tall turbines (9.99 million acres) if you replaced current generation with wind.  That is not GREEN.


  • We also encourage you to read Michael Shellenberger’s article on solar energy called, If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?   It is reported, “The fact that cadmium can be washed out of solar modules by rainwater is increasingly a concern for local environmentalists like the Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake in Virginia, where a 6,350 acre solar farm to partly power Microsoft data centers is being proposed.
  • “We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of the group told me. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.”  There is real-world precedent for this concern. A tornado in 2015 broke 200,000 solar modules at southern California solar farm Desert Sunlight.
  • How ironic that just as the dirty truth about solar panels is being exposed, the Governor Michigan in a moment of true lunacy, removed conservation protections on more than 3 million acres of Michigan farmland, opening up previously protected land to commercial solar development. The Governor says the land must be returned to a state allowing for agriculture production after solar panels are removed.  “This administrative decision will not result in a loss of usable farmland,” McDowell said. “The change ensures that Michigan’s farmland is preserved so we can continue to feed our communities while also balancing the need to develop renewable energy sources.”   Would you like a little cadmium with your corn?  Reminds us of the lead in the drinking water.
  • A lady from suburban Cincinnati writes an Opinion piece about wanting to come home to Ohio to build wind turbines.  Kim Smith is vice president of Engineering & Construction for ACCIONA.  “As the Ohio Senate considers this energy policy proposal, my hope is that they’ll to listen to local county officials who are hoping for the added revenue that utility scale renewable energy projects can deliver, and that they hear the landowners who have already reached agreements with developers to bring projects to their land.”  This opinion piece definitely deserves some comments!  Ask her what Acciona’s position is on local zoning or a township referendum.
  • Governor Strickland wins the Pelosi-Schumer Award for excessive whining about HB 6.  It was Strickland who took our right to zoning away and gave uncompensated easements over our land to wind developers.  Hey, Governor Strickland remember the one about pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered?
  • The US Department of Energy officials attended a conference this week in Salt Lake City where they said they are committed to making fossil fuels cleaner rather than imposing “draconian” regulations on coal and oil.  Secretary Rick Perry previously said the administration wants to spend $500 million next year on fossil fuel research and development as demand plummets for coal and surges for natural gas.  “Instead of punishing fuels that produce emissions through regulation, we’re seeking to reduce those emissions by innovation,” Perry said at the conference.   DOE believes the US economy will continue to run on baseload power provided by coal, gas and nuclear energy.
  • Consulting firm Wood Mackenzie reported that “well over half of the $15bn the onshore wind industry will spend on operations and maintenance (O&M) this year will go to unforeseen repairs and correctives caused by component failures. Unplanned failures are currently costing as much as $30,000 per turbine each year for repairs and spare parts, as well as leading to an average seven hours of lost production per machine – not including downtime for pre-emptive shutdowns or long delivery-times for materials, equipment and technician call-outs, all totting up to a total $8.5bn a year.”
  • G.E. is having a hard time with tower collapse.  Two went down in separate incidents which were said to be isolated events.  BUT! Any third turbine collapse involving a GE machine in quick succession should set alarm bells ringing at the manufacturer, given the rarity of such incidents globally, said a leading insurer of renewable energy projects.  Fraser McLachlan, CEO of specialist insurer GCube, said the two collapses so far this year of GE turbines at US wind farms is already enough to give pause for thought.

Third GE wind turbine collapse would be sign something’s wrong’: insurer

CEO of insurance specialist points to relative rarity of collapses as US wind group continues probe

By Andrew Lee  03 June 2019 Recharge


US wind turbine collapses ‘not linked’, says GE

Incidents ‘separate and isolated’ says OEM as latest academic research flags complex factors at play

by Andrew Lee 31 May 2019Updated 03 June 2019


Ohioans step up their fight against BigWind

This week we achieved a significant victory in the Ohio House of Representatives with the passage of HB 6 which will save clean energy generation at the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants and will give township voters the right of referendum to accept or reject OPSB certificates of approval for industrial wind projects over 20MW.   Projects under 20 MW would be subject to local zoning. We have never been closer to regaining a voice in the future of our communities than we are today….but, this battle is far from over and it is certainly no time to celebrate.

We owe much to the hard work of Rep. Nino Vitale, Chairman of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as Rep. Dick Stein who co-chaired the Energy Generation Subcommittee.  Thanks, too, go to the support of the Speaker of the House Larry Householder.  Of course, Rep. Bill Reineke’s amendment to allow local voters a chance to accept or reject a wind development was key!

But we need to also recognize the enormous efforts of the citizens of Seneca, Huron, Erie, Van Wert, Logan, Champaign and Richland Counties.  Wow.  Warriors arrived early to rally outside the Statehouse House doors.  Wearing that signature “No Wind Yellow,”  our friends stood out like vibrant points of light in the House Chamber gallery.  Make no mistake – this was a group effort and the geographic representation was critical.  Thank you.

As joyous as the day was, there were a few dark spots.  Rep. Craig Riedel of Defiance who was elected by the anti-wind community in a primary battle against pro-wind Tony Burkley turned his back on his constituents. Despite claiming that he had a need to adhere to his free-market principles, Riedel refused to eliminate artificial state mandates for renewables and energy efficiency.  He was not persuaded by the fact that nuclear support would phase out after six years when no generation source would be subsidized by Ohio rate-payers. Not even the prospect of rescuing his constituents from the predations of industrial wind could sway Riedel.  We do not know how he can look his people in eye without everlasting shame.

Other traitors to the cause of representing their constituents were Rep. Gayle Manning of North  Ridgeville and Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky.  Mark Romanchuk of Mansfield was another Republican defector.  The final vote was 53 to 43 with 10 of the AYE votes coming from Democrats who supported the labor unions working at the nuclear plants. The Roll  Call of the Votes is attached.

It should be noted that one of the failed amendments to the bill on the floor was one that would reduce the setbacks and restore measurement to a habitable structure.  Rep. Seitz gave an eloquent rebuttal and the amendment went down.

After the vote, various groups immediately issued statements claiming HB 6 is ‘gutting’ our green energy mandates. There will surely be more statements in the coming days. When is the last time you wrote a letter to the editor?

The bill now goes to the Senate where President Obhof says he is eager to get going and plans to launch hearings next week in the Senate Public Utilities Committee.  Members of this committee are Republican: Chair Steve Wilson (Maineville), Vice Chair Rob McColley (Napolean), Andy Brenner (Powell), Dave Burke (Marysville), Matt Dolan (Chagrin Falls), John Eklund (Chardon), Frank Hoagland (Adena), Matt Huffman (Lima) ,  Bob Peterson (Sabina) and Michael Rulli (Salem).  Democrat: Ranking Minority Member Sandra Williams (Cleveland), Hearcel Craig (Columbus) and Sean O’Brien (Bazetta).  

“I think it’s important to note that, if the House passes it, that’s the midpoint of the legislative process,” Sen. Obhof said prior to the House vote. “We still have a whole second chamber that needs to do its work. The budget certainly is going to take up a lot of our man-hours over the next few weeks, but I am confident that we have the ability to give both pieces of legislation and any other of the many pieces of legislation are pending full and fair consideration over that span.”

Gov. DeWine, who made calls to members this week encouraging their support, applauded the chamber for the bill’s passage. He has voiced support for action to preserve the FES plants. 

“I know this issue is difficult because there are so many Ohioans affected and so many parties interested in the outcome, and I support Speaker Householder and House leadership moving this discussion forward,” he said. “As I have previously stated, Ohio needs to maintain carbon-free nuclear energy generation as part of our energy portfolio. In addition, these energy jobs are vital to Ohio’s economy. I look forward to this legislative discussion continuing in the Ohio Senate.”

Mask removed from Ohio BigWind

Sub HB 6 was introduced in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  After hours and hours and hours of opposing testimony in previous weeks from wind, solar and environmental activists, the Committee threw in the towel on trying to make the bill acceptable to renewable advocates because,  no matter what was proposed, the renewable lobby refused to accept nuclear energy as “clean energy” – a carbon-free source that accounts for 90% of Ohio’s clean energyThey preferred to force the shut down of the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, put  over a thousand people out of work and then try to replace the lost generation with massive increases in wind and solar.  AWEA and the environmentalists revealed their true colors – they are in it for the money not clean air, not carbon-free generation.  The only green they see is cash…for them.

The Sub. HB 6 removed wind and solar as well as energy efficiency mandates and subsidies from the bill entirely.  If the opponents wanted to call the bill a bailout for nuclear energy instead of a clean air bill – they got their wish.   But an important addition was made to Sub HB 6 as well.  A provision was included to give the voters in a township where a wind project was being planned,  the right to vote to either accept or reject the certificate of approval issued by the Ohio Power Siting Board.  This would be accomplished in the same way that a referendum on a zoning decision is made.

You are urged to watch testimony as well as that of Terrence O’Donnell and Dayna Baird on behalf of AWEA a the Ohio Channel:   

Sub HB 6 passed out of the Committee on a party-line vote. It will go to the House for a full vote on Wednesday.

From a free-market perspective, this bill goes a long way.  1.) Ohio would be the first state in the nation to free itself of government mandates for renewables and energy efficiency.  2.) Government could no longer over-ride the will of the people in forcing industrial wind where it is not wanted and 3.) subsidies for all energy, including nuclear, would end in six years.  There are 38 Democrats in the 99 member House.  We understand there are several holdout Republicans who may jeopardize passage

What is their reasoning? How many industrial facilities have been placed in areas zoned for residential use? The four proposed projects in Seneca County cover a combined 250 square miles.  How will employers attract a workforce to live in such a place?  Whose children would return home to farm?   It is estimated that between 30 to 40% of leaseholders in most project areas could be absentee landowners.  The tenants living and working on the land will never have any control over their living conditions without the vote.  

The wind industry incessantly promotes polls that say Ohioans are solidly in favor of renewable energy.  If that is true, what does the wind industry have to fear?  According to them, the voting public would vote in favor of wind development.  Why are these legislators opposed to giving citizens a say in guiding the growth and future of their own communities?

Why are the holdouts in favor of shutting down 90% of Ohio’s clean energy?  This carbon-free resource will be replaced by gas not intermittent and inefficient wind and solar.

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.)”

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…

Reducing BigWind setbacks will squeeze people out

BigWind is working hard in the Ohio legislature to reduce turbine setbacks. One might ask what the title means? Turbines and People do not belong together and that is why we have setbacks. Setbacks are PROTECTIVE for Ohio residents and wildlife and property rights. Without them, we may as well live in the Wild West. Just how many turbines are we talking about? SEE THIS LINK FOR A GOOGLE MAP REPRESENTATION. IT IS SHOCKING!!


It is poor policy to reduce setback distances while turbines are getting taller.
Larger rotor diameters mean longer throw distances!!
No other state or local jurisdiction in the nation is reducing setbacks.

At a minimum, the General Assembly should not take action while the Ohio Power Siting Board is in the middle of rulemaking on blade shear. Testimony about blade shear at the PUCO late last month indicated blade failures on current wind turbines in Ohio within the last three years have thrown debris over 1500 feet. The current setbacks are only slightly more than 1200 feet from a property line. Changing the setbacks to pre-2014 levels would allow the 650 foot turbines to be located much closer to your home than currently allowed.

Curiously, we wonder what documentation the sponsors and co-sponsors of this bill are relying on? Not only should our legislators be concerned about safety, but also the nuisance of noise, vibration, and shadow flicker. If they are successful in changing the setback, can citizens sue the legislators???

BigWind blows hot air in Ohio

The Energy Generation Subcommittee continued its hearings on April 24th with more calls for reducing wind setbacks and more protests from wind and solar advocates who do not want to compete with more reliable and available clean energy sources.  The hearings can be seen on the Ohio Channel at .   We encourage you to go to the link at look at Part One at about 43 minutes to watch Michael Shellenberger’s testimony in favor of the bill.  Shellenberger has written prolifically Forbes magazine against wind’s gigantic footprint which destroys the landscape, habitat and the environment generally.     In Part Three at 1hr 45.36 Susan Munroe of Chambers for Innovation spews a bunch of nonsense about Blue Creek in Van Wert County and misrepresents the impacts of safe setbacks.  She claims on behalf of Paulding County that they want all the wind they can get.  

A revised Clean Energy bill will be introduced next week and hearings will resume before the full House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

On  Tuesday, the Ohio Power Siting Board conducted a “workshop” to determine whether rules should be established for blade shear.  The workshop can be viewed at:

Julie Johnson testified against a setback reduction and argued that the failure of OPSB to require incident reporting, independent investigation and public access to incident reports results in the inability of landowners and persons who sign Good Neighbor Agreements to give “informed consent” to the waiver of setbacks.  They can unwittingly impose risk upon others who may live on, work on or visit properties within the range of a debris field if a turbine fails.   Terry Rittenhouse pointed out in his testimony that while the wind companies claim that blade failure is an extremely rare event, Ohio has experienced a 100% failure rate with incidents occurring at Hog Creek in Hardin County, Blue Creek in Van Wert County and Timber Road in Paulding County.   In two incidents, fragments traveled further than the current setbacks.

Gary Biglin also spoke on behalf of those residing in Richland County near the Blackfork Wind project.  Dennis Schriener, a nuclear engineer who specializes in safety, spoke as well. Schreiner resides near the proposed Apex project called Emerson Creek in Huron County.   He described his efforts to find safety standard information and said it was not publicly available in the United States and that he had to secure information when he was out of the country in Brazil.  The information he obtained specified a safety setback of 1,640 feet.  We have seen this specification in Nordex materials.  

The workshop was disappointing in that  there was no give and take discussion.  It was similar to a public hearing where the Administrative Law Judge sits in silence and listens.  After the citizen testimony, no wind developer (if any were present) spoke.  Michael Settineri, the Vorys attorney who represents many wind developers, popped up and said he could not let the moment pass and encouraged the OPSB not to promulgate a rule because it might undermine investor confidence.  He suggested that any incident reporting be made a part of a certificate condition and remain a matter between the OPSB and the wind operator.   It was a foolish comment given the testimony.  The OPSB will now take the information provided to them and draft a rule.  The proposed rule will be subject to public comment before adoption.  This is a good step forward by the new leadership of the OPSB which has prior to now, ignored public safety.

Ohio House Democrats O’Brien and Skindell have introduced HB 223 to repeal existing property line setbacks.  Perhaps it is their intention to have the language folded into the Clean Energy bill since so many witnesses demanded it.  To date, Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, has rejected requests to consider setbacks in the Clean Energy bill.    A sampling of news stories related to the Clean Energy bill are included below….

In other news:

  • AEP is taking bids to set up energy purchase agreements for solar or wind facilities that are operational or coming online soon within the 13-state footprint of PJM. It will seek 10-year agreements for wind and solar projects online now as well as 15-year solar and 12-year wind agreements, for facilities that begin operation between 2020 and 2023, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  
  • PV magazine says “As we’ve noted before, Ohio is not the first state that most people think of when they think solar. At the end of last year the state had only 202 MWdc installed, placing it in the bottom half of installed capacity nationally, and SEIA’s project database did not show any larger than 20 MW. Despite this humble start, Wood Mackenzie ranks Ohio as the top state in the Midwest for solar development over the next five years, and a look at the status of some of the leading projects explains why.”  “Six projects totaling over 1 GWac that have siting board approval, interconnection agreements and/or PPAs, suggesting that large-scale solar development is about to take off in a big way.”
  • Filings on the OPSB website show Republic Wind LLC and OPSB staff Friday requested a 90-day extension to allow the company more time to submit information for the staff investigation report.  Perhaps Republic is waiting to see if legislation to repeal property line setbacks is sneaked into the budget by Sen. Dolan, slips into the Clean Energy Bill or is passed as standalone legislation.
  • The FAA has awarded the state with a certificate of authorization allowing it test defense-related drone technology without reliance on a visual observer or chase aircraft. Typically, drones can only fly within the uninterrupted line of sight of the person operating the UAS, but the special waiver allows AFRL and the Ohio UAS Center, which is part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s DriveOhio Initiative, to use SkyVision to test drones beyond the visual line of sight within a 200 square-mile parcel of unrestricted airspace near the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.   We wonder if this program would prevent turbine development in the area?