Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) condemned the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 52, which would allow local governments in Ohio to restrict development of new wind and solar projects.
“The Toledo and Northwest Ohio region is a proud hub for solar technology,” Fedor said. “Solar energy has created thousands of jobs in my area, especially because First Solar in Perrysburg is the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the western hemisphere. Senate Bill 52 essentially stops our ability to keep up with market trends. It will hinder Ohio’s ability to capitalize on investment opportunities involving renewable energy and drive out companies that have made clean energy pledges.”
S. B. 52 would increase regulation on clean energy by permitting counties to designate wind and solar development zones where no development could take place. It would also allow county commissioners to prohibit the construction of a utility facility or limit the boundaries of the facility to a smaller geographic area.
Ohio has an existing certification process through the Ohio Power Siting Board, which involves a comprehensive environmental, technical and financial analysis of proposed projects. The additional regulatory layers in Senate Bill 52 do not exist for other forms of energy, such as coal, oil and gas. The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce testified in opposition to the bill, alongside Ohio building trades, United Auto Workers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
“Ohio’s business and investment climate would benefit from keeping this process in the hands of the Power Siting Board,” Fedor said. “Doing so would enable Northwest Ohio’s longstanding leadership in solar to continue while helping more farmers, landowners and ranchers to freely and easily participate in energy-efficient, revenue-generating projects.”
Watch her full remarks here