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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Ohio Senate Passes Bill Putting More Regulations On Renewable Energy Projects

Hog Creek Wind Farm, Hardin County [Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau]
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, SB 52 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," said 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," said 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.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.