Energy

Senator seeks to ease wind setback rules

Cliff Hite, state senator from Findlay, Ohio.

COLUMBUS — “Arguing that Ohio is losing millions in potential business investment, state Sen. Cliff Hite (R., Findlay) introduced a bill Thursday to loosen property setback restrictions imposed three years ago on the siting of new wind farms.

‘We’re trying to make this so that those who want wind projects can [move forward],’ Mr. Hite said. ‘Right now they’re handcuffed by the language that exists. I know some people don’t want projects, but this bill is a compromise between where we used to be and where we are now.’

In 2014, lawmakers passed and Gov. John Kasich signed a provision imposing the tighter restrictions. The wind industry and some lawmakers, including some from northwest Ohio which have benefited economically from wind farms, have been trying ever since to ease those restrictions.

Previous law required 1,125 feet between the extended tip of a wind turbine and the nearest home, essentially 1,300 feet from the tower when factoring in the length of the turbine. It also provided for a setback from the nearest property line of 1.1 of the tower’s height, which presumes that if the tower were to fall, it would not cross the property line.”

— Jim Provance, Toledo Blade

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