Farm Bureau testifies on wind energy bill

Ohio Farm Bureau testified as an interested party in December on House Bill 401 which will change the current setback standards and prescribe a local referendum process for wind projects.

Jenna Beadle

“There are many Farm Bureau members who are adamantly opposed to wind development and many outspoken in their support of it, so any position we take has to adhere to Farm Bureau policy,” Jenna Beadle, OFBF director of state policy, told members of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“There are two competing landowner interests at play in this complex issue—the landowner who wants to enter into a private contract and the adjacent landowner who will be impacted by another’s contract.”

Beadle said Farm Bureau policy supports wind turbine setback requirements that ensure safety and are based on scientific research. HB 401 creates setbacks that are based on the turbine manufacturer’s safety standards, which OFBF supports.

“The Ohio Power Siting Board’s role in this process, however, is critically important,” she testified. Ohio Farm Bureau supports rules and regulations made by OPSB that provide landowner friendly, reasonable and uniform statewide procedures for siting, placement, construction and operation of wind farms. Ohio Farm Bureau is concerned about diminishing the OPSB’s authority over the adjudicatory process that encompasses the siting and operation of all types of generation and transmission assets statewide.

The bill is under consideration by the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. There is also a companion bill in the Senate (SB 234), for which OFBF will provide similar testimony.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership