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Wind Energy tour and meetings CANCELLED

Published May. 29, 2014 | Discuss this article on Facebook

Due to a series of recent legislative developments in Columbus, we will be canceling/postponing all of ourwind energy development outreach efforts, including the Van Wert wind farm tour and the panel discussion.  In the event things change, we will re-schedule both events.  If you had RSVP'd to attend, Mary Lou will be contacting you directly and your spot will be saved if/when we re-schedule.
For brief context, there have been two separate bills that have passed both the house and senate which are drastically altering the appeal for wind energy development in Ohio. Both are currently waiting for the Governors signature.
The first is SB 310, which puts a 2 year moratorium on the 25% by 2025 Initiative passed in 2008. The "25 by 25" initiative put together a series of programs, tax incentives and other policies to achieve 25% of Ohio's energy use to be sourced from renewable and advanced fuel sources (12.5% renewable and 12.5% advanced).  SB 310 puts a 2 year freeze on this initiative while a legislative committee studies the issue, thus souring the market for new renewable energy. The bill provided that if after the committee's report, the General Assembly did not pass legislation changing or ending the renewable energy requirement, the schedule would resume and the requirement that 12.5 percent of generation in or deliverable to Ohio be from renewable energy sources would have to be met by 2027.  
The second is HB 483, a mid year budget finance bill.  This is an appropriations bill that was amended by a house representative in southern ohio, which made modifications to the setback requirements for windturbines.  Current setbacks call for a minimum seperation from a private residence to a wind turbine.  The amendment replaces private residence with property line.  This slight change effectively makes most of the land currently developable for wind power generation, undevelopable.  However, as this is an appropriations bill, the governor has the ability to do a line item veto and eliminate this amendment.

Until things shake out and to be prudent with our financial expenses, the committee of Ken Stiverson, Tom Daiber and Steve Reinhard thought it best to post-pone our efforts until a later date.  

Area landowners and farmers in northern Marion and southern Crawford County are being approached by a wind energy company seeking to lease land for a large scale wind project. While there has been previous activity in eastern Crawford for a wind project, this is the first time landowners in this particular area have been approached about large scale wind energy development. As such, many landowners and community leaders are being forced to consider questions about the impact a project like this will have on the farm, the environment, the community, the aesthetics and the local economy. In order to best position our community to make sound decisions on a project that would have significant local and regional impact, Crawford and Marion County Farm Bureau will be having two events we’d like to invite you to attend. 

The first event will be a bus trip to the Blue Creek Wind Farm near Van Wert, Ohio on June 16. Tickets are $20, which includes all travel expenses and lunch. Space on the bus is extremely limited, so please RSVP by June 10, to marion@ofbf.org or by calling 740-383-2158.

We will depart from the Bucyrus Knights Inn parking lot behind Bob Evans (1515 N. Sandusky St, Bucyrus) promptly at 8:30 a.m. and return around 3 p.m. On the tour, we will meet the wind farm project manager and tour the area turbines and associated infrastructure. Then we will have lunch at the Black Swamp Bistro in Van Wert to meet and visit with community leaders, farmers and landowners that have experienced the development first hand. 

The second event will be a Farm Bureau member exclusive Wind Energy Moderated Panel Discussion, which will be held on Wednesday July 9 at 7 p.m. at Tri Rivers Career Center (2222 Marion-Mt. Gilead Rd., Marion). Panelists include Dale Arnold (OFBF Director of Energy Development), John Arehart (Lead Engineer with Apex Wind Energy) and Kim Wisman (Executive Director of the Ohio Power Siting Board), and a community leader and landowner from an area that’s experienced wind development. There is no fee for the event and we are not limited on space, therefore an RSVP is not required. However you must be a Farm Bureau member to attend. 

We hope to see you at one of these informative events.

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