Wind Energy Industry Feels Stymied by Ohio Regulations

Sep 15, 2017

Hog Creek Wind Farm in Hardin County is currently in development. This is a project grandfathered in with former setbacks in place.
Credit Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

The wind energy industry says it can’t create new projects in Ohio, claiming they’re essentially handcuffed by stiff regulations over where turbines can be placed.

The issue of wind farms is divisive for land owners in northeast Ohio. Some want to lease a portion of their property for turbines and others don’t want anything to do with them.

Setbacks are supposed to address this issue by placing these structures, which can reach 750 feet, far enough away from property lines.

But Republican Senator Cliff Hite says the current setbacks, created in 2013, are too restrictive and squeeze wind farms into parameters that aren’t conducive for new development.

"We got a little aggressive with the changes three years ago and it got to the point where people who didn’t want them took precedent way over those that did want them," Hite says.

Hite expects his bill to decrease setbacks can get through the Senate but faces tough opposition in the House.