Reporter John Funk describes the latest in efforts to correct wind setback constraints, noting that proposed legislation could potentially pit wind against clean energy advocates. He includes Ohio AEE's perspective with comments from Ted Ford:
The wind industry this week said its member companies are ready to invest billions in Ohio if state lawmakers can rewrite the state's 4-year-old zoning rules that shut down new wind-farm development.
"The Ohio Senate has shown great leadership with their continued commitment to reforming Ohio's wind energy setback policies," said Andrew Gohn, policy director for the American Wind Energy Association (referring to senate GOP efforts to revise HB 114)...
...But other clean energy groups are not so sure they can support the Senate's redraft because, while it does not eliminate the state's renewable and efficiency mandates, it does water them down significantly...
Ted Ford, president and CEO of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, also did not try to hide his concerns about the bill.
"We applaud the proposed changes in the wind setbacks but have deep concerns about the impact of the [business and industry] opt-out on energy efficiency programs," he wrote in response to an emailed question. "Reducing the energy efficiency requirements, as the bill does, while making participation optional for a large percentage of energy users, undercuts the benefits for all consumers. "And cutting Ohio's already modest renewable energy standard when we have barely scratched the surface of what is doable in Ohio also makes no sense," Ford added.
"We need a forward-looking energy policy that protects Ohio consumers and moves us forward. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senate leadership to develop a bill that does that..."
See the entire Plain Dealer article here.