The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) acted properly in approving the construction and operation of a wind farm in Champaign County, a finding that had been encouraged by Ohio Farm Bureau.
OPSB had been challenged by a group of local residents who expressed concerns about a plan by Buckeye Wind LLC to construct and operate a 70 turbine project. They claimed the board made errors in its review, modification and approval of the plan, but the court decreed that OPSB had “acted within its authority.”
Dale Arnold, director of energy policy for Ohio Farm Bureau, said the court made the right ruling. The process followed by OPSB “follows Farm Bureau policy almost point by point,” he said.
OFBF policy addresses various aspects of wind energy development including landowner rights, neighbors’ rights, economic and social considerations and ample opportunity for resident and local government input. It also supports OPSB’s role as a “one-stop-shop” for wind farm siting issues.
In its written comments to the court, OFBF stated that energy projects are valuable economic development opportunities and also serve as important land use tools that can sustain farming as a way of life.