Energy

$4.2 billion wind stymied in Ohio: House refuses to ease restrictive zoning

Northwest Ohio farmers were hoping that the rainbow that that appeared last week after a rain was near the Blue Creek wind farm a sign that Ohio lawmakers would approve new, less restrictive turbine property setback language. Approval of new minimum setback rules will open the state to billions of dollars in new wind development, say industry representatives. (photo: Sarah Moser)

CLEVELAND — “Ohio lawmakers are not going to allow electric utilities to seek rate increases solely to buttress sagging credit ratings, as requested by one state utility

And they are shutting the door on more than $4.2 billion in new wind farm investment that has been blocked by restrictive state zoning requirements enacted three years ago.

These two unrelated energy issues cropped up in recent weeks in the state’s budget bill, a 5,000-page document laying out the state’s budgeted expenditures as well as economic development initiatives.

A conference committee representing the House and Senate voted to remove provisions added to the bill that would have allowed utilities to seek credit rating-related increases. And they rejected an amendment that had been added to give wind developers a reason to return to Ohio.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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