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Bill Giving Voice to Residents on Wind and Solar Projects Heads to the Governor's Desk

June 29, 2021
Craig S. Riedel News

COLUMBUS – State Representative Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) and State Senator Rob McColley (RNapoleon)
today announced the Ohio General Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 52, sponsored by Senators Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), that gives local officials and residents a voice in solar or wind development projects.

Senate Bill 52 will permit a board of county commissioners to approve or deny power siting board certification of certain wind and solar facilities that produce greater than 50 megawatts of power. It will allow the county commissioners to designate exclusive zones where wind and or solar projects would be disallowed. In addition, it will also provide for two additional ad hoc members of the power siting board and establish decommissioning requirements for certain wind and solar facilities.

“As a state legislator in Northwest Ohio, I represent the counties with most wind development in the state and understand that this bill is extremely important to those who live it every day,” said Riedel. “Senate Bill 52 is good policy that is a fair compromise to a very complex quality of life issue.”

This bill requires a developer, before applying for a Power Siting Board certificate, to hold a public meeting in each county in which the facility is to be located. Then it requires the prospective applicant to provide certain information at the public meeting and to the board of county commissioners regarding the utility facility that is the subject of the application. After receiving this information, the board of county commissioners can adopt a resolution prohibiting its construction, limiting its geographic size, or do nothing and the project will move through the Power Siting Board process.

"Unfortunately, there have been energy projects across the state that have faced unanimous opposition in their area of operation, yet were still allowed to proceed," McColley said. "This bill will allow for developers and local elected officials to cooperate and find amicable solutions to these projects."

The measure now heads to Governor Mike DeWine for his signature.