Wind turbines in Ohio still have potential, but the focus is on solar power right now


Advocates claim that as President-elect Joe Biden assumes office in January, green energies in Ohio and throughout the United States can get a boost in light of his shared ambition to make America’s energy market carbon-free by the year 2035. However, much of the production of solar and wind energy firms are powered by state-level changes. The political environment for clean energy has not yet been accepted in Ohio. The contentious House Bill 6 lowers so-called green portfolio requirements and ultimately drops them. And the plans for wind turbines have been further hindered by the stringent setback criteria imposed in 2014.

Several new wind ventures are in the works, mainly due to regulatory hurdles and a lack of policy will eliminate them, stated Andrew Gohn, director at the American Wind Energy Association in charge of eastern state affairs. The shift in setback criteria is probably the greatest deterrent. Suddenly, ventures found economical were less so. That being said, the Ohio industry has not gone to a halt entirely. A minor wind farm located in Paulding County, which borders Indiana, was constructed last year by EDP Renewables North America. Underneath the fresh, stringent setbacks, the farm was constructed – the area that the government allows wind farms to retain between wind turbines and houses.

But in the new legislative and political climate, the Pauling County venture is the only one the organization plans to construct in Ohio, stated Amy Kurt, senior manager of the developer’s regional government relations. It is estimated that the planned Republic Wind farm will have around 50 turbines and produce 200 megawatts. The Ohio Power Siting Board has given the go-ahead of 7 solar projects located in Ohio, 3 of which are currently being built, as per board spokesperson Matt Butler. Hardin County is home to two of the programs. The last, named Hillcrest, is located east of Cincinnati in the Brown County. As per architects, Hillcrest is a perfect example of the advantages, beyond cleaner air, which solar and wind initiatives can bring.

Construction started in January on the 200-megawatt Hillcrest plant and hired several hundred employees during a year in which several workers were out of jobs due to the coronavirus epidemic, stated Stephanie Williams, director of government affairs for project developer at the Innergex Renewable Energy. FirstSolar in Perrysburg has produced 600,000 solar panels for the ventures.
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