New bill introduced expand potential Ohio wind turbine construction

New bill introduced expand potential Ohio wind turbine construction
(Source: WTOL)

COLUMBUS, OH (WTOL) - An new bill introduced in the Ohio senate hopes to expand the areas for wind turbine construction and help generate billions of new revenue for the Ohio.

The state of Ohio is a national leader in manufacturing parts for wind turbine, but falls behind when it come to turbine construction. This new bill hopes to change that.

In 2014, the state general assembly tripled the property setback line in which wind turbines can be built, essentially shrinking the area a turbine is allowed to be placed.

Since then, no new wind turbine construction permits have been filed in the state.

This is why Ohio District 1 State Senator Cliff Hite announced Thursday a new bill that would lower the setback from a quarter of a mile away from private property to approximately 600 feet, which is still farther than the original turbine setback distance established in 2010.

"And I'm just trying to do a compromise bill so those who don't want it, they're still protected," Senator Cliff Hite said. "But those who do want it still have an opportunity to make money and be part of this economic future and prosperity."

HIte held the press conference at EDP Renewable's Hog Creek Wind Farm, currently under construction in Hardin County.

Once complete, the 30 turbine farm will generate enough electricity to power 19,000 homes and inject $600,000 a year into the local community.

EDP says the proposed setbacks in this bill would give renewable energy companies much more flexibility in where they can build future wind farms.

"The wind only blows in certain places, so you want to make sure that you're putting wind turbines in the places that have the best wind energy resource," Amy Kurt, project manager for EDP Renewable, said.

Senator Hite says if approved, the new setback limits could lead to $4.2 billion in additional revenue for the state.

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