Senator Skindell Introduces Bill To Reinvigorate Wind Industry In Ohio
Senator Michael Skindell (D–Lakewood) recently introduced Senate Bill 184, which would return wind farm setback standards to what they previously were before the passage of House Bill 483 in 2014.
The standard established in House Bill 483 was inserted in the bill at the last minute and had no public hearings. The legislation more than doubled the distance wind turbines have to be from “the nearest, habitable, residential structure.” The change significantly reduced the number of turbines that could be placed in a wind project.
“Current restrictive setback standards have created a barrier to wind development in Ohio,” said Senator Skindell. “Since 2014, our state has seen a sharp decline in the number of new wind farm applications. Because of such stringent standards, we have lagged behind neighboring states, losing out on local economic development and jobs for our communities. Ohio should be embracing the renewable energy industry and securing clean energy for our future.”
Senator Skindell’s bill would simply measure the setback distance from the nearest habitable residential structure rather than the property line.
Many of the biggest companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook have made renewable energy a priority when looking for places to expand. In 2016, a representative from Amazon, John Stephenson, testified to the House Public Utilities Committee that the current requirements “have significantly diminished the attractiveness to further investments in wind generation in Ohio.”
Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) was elected to serve Lakewood, Cleveland and Ohio's 23rd Senate District in November, 2010. He comes from the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served four terms as the Representative for Ohio's 13th House District. After graduating cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business and political science from Walsh College, Skindell earned his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He represented the people of Lakewood as a Councilman at Large between 1998 and 2002.