Report says Ohio Counties Are Losing Billions When Wind Energy Is Blocked

Apr 17, 2018

(From left to right) Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls); Susan Munroe, Van Wert area Chamber of Commerce CEO; David Zak, Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation CEO; Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin).
Credit KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

County leaders are protesting the state’s strict boundary lines for wind turbines – saying the new law is forcing them to miss out on billions of dollars in economic development by thwarting any new wind farm projects. Opponents of the law still have a long journey toward changing it.

An industry-backed group called the Wind Energy Foundation reports the state is missing out on as much as $4 billion in economic development because of what it calls roadblocks to new wind projects.

As Susan Munroe with the Van Wert area Chamber of Commerce explains, counties like Seneca and Sandusky can’t get projects approved.

“Some of us have experienced that promise of economic opportunity with wind farm development and some of us have been denied," Monroe says. 

A bill in the Senate would decrease the setbacks. Supporters of the current setbacks say it benefits landowners who don’t want turbines near their property.

Senate President Larry Obhof says he’d like to consider changing the setbacks as part of the bill to change the state’s renewable energy requirements into optional goals.