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Senate Passes Bill That Puts More Regulations On Renewable Energy Projects

Andy Chow
Hog Creek Wind Farm, Hardin County

A bill that allows local voters to decide on a renewable energy project is heading to the Ohio House after gaining approval by the Senate.

Along with giving local residents a chance to vote against a proposed wind or solar energy project, SB52 also gives county commissioners the power to deny renewable energy projects or put limitations on their size.  

"That's bringing meaningful local control and input at the outset of these projects," says Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon), a co-sponsor of the bill.

Opponents, which include chambers of commerce and environmental advocates, say the bill overregulates the renewable energy industry for projects that would mostly be on private land.  

"Senate Bill 52 treats renewables differently than all other forms of generation in the state. It singles out wind and solar and we believe that is unfair," says Sen. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) who added that the state should not be in the "business of picking winners and losers in the energy sector."

The bill passed the Senate with a 20-13 vote and now moves to the House.

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