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IndyStar: After Local Pushback, Indiana Bill on Wind, Solar Standards Takes a '180 Degree Turn'

Posted by Sarah Bowman and London Gibson on Apr 2, 2021

IndyStar outlined amendments to an Indiana bill that will provide incentives for less restrictive wind and solar ordinances, quoting AEE’s Caryl Auslander on industry prospects. Read excerpts below and the full story here.

A bill that would have overridden local ordinances that restrict or prohibit wind power in Indiana has taken a “180 degree turn” after pushback from local officials.

HB 1381 would establish statewide standards for how close wind and solar projects can be to other properties. But a new amendment would allow county and local governments to maintain restrictive ordinances, while also offering a hefty incentive for abandoning them…

The amended bill establishes a one-time funding source for these local governments that could bring in as much as $3,000 per megawatt capacity of the wind project…

Lawmakers advocating for HB 1381 say piecemeal siting standards from counties across the state are blocking Indiana from gaining millions of dollars in potential income from wind and solar farms…

While this may be the case, county officials say, it won’t help families who lose home value or experience negative side effects of wind construction near their homes…

And while some of these local officials remain in opposition to the bill, they said the amendment at least softened the blow.

For the renewable industry, it softened in a different way. While the bill no longer requires communities adopt statewide standards, “at the end of the day this amendment maintains the regulatory certainty that companies need in order to invest in Indiana communities,” said Caryl Auslander, representing Advanced Energy Economy.

She also said that the payments are a common practice that will allow the industry to support the well being and growth of the communities in which they operate…

HB 1381 passed out of the Senate Utilities committee on Thursday, April 1, and was referred to the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy committee for hearing.

Read the full story here.

 

Topics: AEE In The News