Ohio Chamber Supports Changes to Wind Turbine Setbacks

On Wednesday, October 11, Director of Energy and Environmental Policy Zack Frymier testified before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee in favor of changes to Ohio’s minimum wind turbine setback. Senate Bill 188 would return Ohio law closer to previous setbacks that allowed for wind farm development and would enshrine a requirement that developers hold public meetings prior to submission of an application to the Ohio Power Siting Board.

In his testimony Frymier explained that changes made to Ohio’s wind turbine setback in 2014 made Ohio’s one of the most restrictive in the country and led to uncertainty for businesses looking to invest in Ohio.

“We have watched the challenge the current law poses to any additional development of wind generation in the state and are concerned with the permanent loss of the multibillion dollar economic development potential these projects have for Ohio and its communities,” explained Frymier.

Also, the Ohio Chamber believes that less restrictive wind setbacks would benefit the many Ohio businesses that now manufacture and service wind turbines and components.

“It’s important to remember that Ohio has the largest supply chain presence in the United States for wind turbine parts,” continued Frymier. “The investment wind developers are looking to make in Ohio would flow not only to local communities but also to factories and workers throughout the state.

To protect the interests of nearby property owners the bill would require the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to adopt rules that will enhance public input by requiring public notices include the minimum setback for the project as well as requiring, in statute, that a public information session is held prior to a project filing an application with OPSB.

To read the full testimony, click here.