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Lawmaker Urges Finding Middle Ground In Wind Setback Debate

Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert County
Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert County

The wind energy industry says Ohio has essentially placed a moratorium on new wind farm projects because of the rules for where turbines can be placed. But there are lawmakers who argue those tougher parameters protect the rights of landowners. 

So-called wind setbacks decide how far a turbine can be placed away from a property owner who wants nothing to do with a project.

Rep. Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) represents a portion of northwest Ohio, home to the state’s biggest wind farms. He says he’s all for wind energy but believes new setbacks are needed, hoping to strike a balance between the current constraints and the much smaller setbacks proposed in the Senate.

“And then set that as the minimum and then allow each individual township to decide for themselves whether or not they want to leave that as their setback for their township or extend it further.”

It’s possible this debate could be rolled into the larger issue of renewable energy mandates. A bill to eliminate those mandates currently sits in the Senate.

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