Ohio Eviscerates Preferred Siting, Accelerated Permission for Wind/Solar Developers (communities win!)

By Sherri Lange — July 22, 2021

Many will accurately argue that if Ohio’s SB 52 were in place in their localities, they would currently be turbine free.

As Congresswoman and people’s politician, Shirley Chisholm wrote: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” Seneca Anti Wind Union, bravo.

Ohio’s Senate Bill 52 is a game changer. Without comment or fanfare, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a requirement that significantly raises the bar for new wind and solar projects, effective October 9, 2021.

More good news for community cohesion and property values. The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) killed the Republic Wind proposal. Heavy lifting by Seneca Anti-Wind Union Officers/members, Julie Johnson, Linda Hughes, Deb Hay, Chris Aicholz, to name a few, won the day for consumers, taxpayers, landowners.

Quote from the Toledo Blade:

Not to sound overly caustic here, but government permitting authorities don’t always listen to critics of major development projects. They can’t, from a legal standpoint. It’s not a popularity contest.

Not quite. Industrial wind turbines and solar arrays are not just another development project. The W/S Bullies, whose bad economics is rescued by special subsidies, have long captured the legal system at the expense of the rest of us. Wind and solar have created their own legal framework, “popularity” through influence and coopting of approval agencies, spreading the (ill-gotten) profits by signing up impoverished farmers for about $8-10K per turbine per year, and neutralizing adjoining landowners with “good neighbor agreements.”

And at root, it’s all part of Al Gore’s “central organizing principle” of taking over the consumer-driven affordable, reliable energy system in the name of “rescuing” the climate.

Thank You, Bill 52

What proves exceptional, aside from the fact that Bill 52 provides for layers of consumer protection?

Foremost, the regular pattern of approvals is significantly jarred. Should we say, split open. Widely. This bill allows county commissioners to designate “restricted areas,” within the unincorporated parts of the county, “where economically significant wind farms, large wind farms, and large solar facilities may not be constructed.” 

We might summarize Senate Bill 52:

For a short synopsis of the Bill and its implications see here. Excerpts below.

On June 28, 2021, the Ohio General Assembly passed Substitute Senate Bill 52, a significant revision to Ohio’s power siting approval process for utility-scale solar and wind projects. Governor Mike DeWine is expected to sign the bill into law, with an expected effective date in early October 2021.

Sponsored by Senators Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), S.B. 52 aims to increase local awareness and input from property owners – and to require approval from local county officials.

In short, the law requires a new upfront approval from the County Commission prior to the developer moving forward with the state siting process for certification of utility-scale solar and wind projects. This legislation has five major components:

Grandfathers certain wind and solar projects already in development, not subjecting them to local approval mechanisms in S.B. 52.

Subjects future projects to review by County Commissioners before developer submitting application to the Ohio Power Siting Board.

– Allows County Commissioners to establish restricted areas where wind and solar projects are prohibited, subject to referendum.

 – Adds two more voting members to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to now include county and township government representatives or designees on solar and wind projects.

 – Requires developers to submit decommissioning plans when applying to OPSB.

Past Mistakes Can Be Avoided

In many places, opponents spar and spend millions, in cases, to fight wind projects that they KNOW will be harmful to people and wildlife, well water, the fabric of their lives. These projects, they know, will leave a lifetime of misery and energy poverty.

Ontario Canada is a case in point. Community groups never could muster denial of a wind approval, over 40 huge and expensive legal fights, on the matter of human health. Only TWO ERTs (Environmental Review Tribunals) were successfully fought, one on the concern for the Blanding’s Turtle, the other due to concerns over human health but only as related to airport safety. Given the long-recorded 30-plus year history, anecdotal and data based, of harm to human health, the obvious misdemeanors in judgement are egregious. Matters not what quality of experts were called. (Other denials of egregious and certain harm at these hearings were evident severally, and critics called these decisions whimsical and taxing, frivolous and vexatious.)

Many will accurately argue that if SB 52 were in place in THEIR communities, they would currently be turbine free. They could have preserved their families and community cohesiveness, their historical land uses, and ultimately, their health and economies too.


For a wind industry that has been overriding, even bull dozing, unwilling host communities, this new legal framework will be a significant brake. Some say, it is a death knell for Ohio’s “renewables.”  

Let the full implications gestate.  (We add that the LEEDCo, Fred Olsen proposal for offshore of Cleveland, under these prescriptions, still would not have a permit or application, since a decommissioning plan is not even yet in place. Among many omissions.)

This is, after all, a greed machine, where developers routinely put the cart of profit taking in front of the horse, the hobbling horse that only operates with massive subsidies, and tax relief.

Ohio’s motto is: “With God all things are possible.” The state argues that this is beyond a Christian expression and is an expression of hope, inspiration, and stick-to-it-iveness.  Works for me. On all fronts.

If you can hear the decanters crying about Ohio’s lack of “renewables” vision, you won’t hear the “whimper” long. Outperforming, is the universal “Congregational” song from wind warriors worldwide, and it’s voice is increasingly  powerful.

As Congresswoman and people’s politician, Shirley Chisholm wrote: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” Seneca Anti Wind Union, bravo.







[Originally published at Master Resource.]

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