Skindell advocates restoring Ohio wind-energy development

Rep. Mike Skindell and Rep. Fred Strahorn have introduced legislation to allow wind-energy development to resume in Ohio.

Ohio is a major manufacturer for the expanding wind-energy industry. But in recent years, Ohio-made equipment has mostly been going to build up others states’ wind-energy capacity, because of excessive setback requirements for large wind turbines in Ohio.

At a recent hearing on energy policy, numerous witnesses testified that Ohio’s wind setback requirements are too restrictive.

“The barriers that exist in Ohio to wind are hurtful, not helpful,” Alex Fischer, president of the Columbus Partnership, told lawmakers. “Our clients ask about that. You ought to know that.”

House Bill 223 would amend sections 4906.20 and 4906.201 of the Ohio Revised Code, to alter the minimum setback requirement for wind farms of five or more megawatts.

The proposed legislation, co-sponsored by several other representatives, would allow Ohio’s wind industry a more level playing field by adjusting setback requirements toward the more moderate standard used in other states.