Ohio Wind Farm Rule Changes May Affect Electricity Rates

Posted on Posted in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Electricity Rates in Ohio, Fixed Rate Plans, Ohio Electric Distribution Company (EDC), Toledo, Toledo Edison, Variable Rate Plans
Senate changes to free up Ohio wind power farms might generate more than just cheap electricity rates for the Buckeye state.
Proposed senate plan reduces distance from property lines and carves out an exemption for privately owned wind power.

How are Ohio laws affecting Ohio wind farms?

To some law makers in Columbus, Ohio’s renewable energy regulation have been stifling wind energy development. A 2014 law required any new wind turbines proposed by Ohio electricity companies be constructed at least 1125 feet away from the nearest property line. According to the Columbus Dispatch, “Since then, the only major projects to be completed — including Hog Creek — are ones that state regulators had approved before the rule change and do not need to follow the new regulations.”

However, new legislation introduced in mid-May to the Ohio Senate presented a revised version of Ohio House Bill 114 which could address these issues with siting. According to the Toledo Blade, “The amendment would change that to 1,125 feet from the nearest habitable residence for wind farms generating at least five megawatts of power.” This means that more wind turbines to be constructed in an area approved for wind farm development than current law allows.

When will this Change start affecting my Ohio Electricity Bill?

The law, however, will likely not see the floor until later after the fall elections take place. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the senate committee is not interested in “fast tracking the bill” and that “At least one lobbyist said he thought passage, if it happens, might not occur until the ‘lame duck’ legislative sessions in the last few weeks of the year.”

Cheapest Electricity Rates for Business Owners?

One revision in the senate bill being discussed allows private businesses to find cheap electricity alternatives by building their own private wind turbines. These would not need to follow the guidelines for conventional wind farms as long as they would be for on-site use only and do not exceed 20 megawatts of capacity. Alongside that, revising the setback laws could mean cheap electricity rates for the consumer as well. An increase in potential wind generation could see more investors for new wind farms, bringing more money and jobs to the state.

What does this all mean for Ohio Electricity Companies?

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates Ohio has a wind generation capacity of 617 MW, and an additional 492 MW under various stages of construction. Federal Department of Energy estimates put the state’s potential wind capacity at 54,920 MW of power from standard wind turbines. Not only would that bring more jobs to the state, but it would increase the capital invested into rural communities affected by the laws. Currently, annual lease payments to owners of the land leased for uses of wind generation is around $1-5 Million. With an increase of potential locations for wind turbines, that amount would increase, further helping the private sector.

How will this affect my Electricity Rates?

If the revised senate bill eventually passes we may see an eventual decrease in the rates offered by your Ohio electricity supplier. Whether that’s from increased investments into the renewable energy sector or from an increased energy supply as businesses use private renewable options themselves, you could see your electricity prices going down by comparison.

Keep an eye on those prices and stay tuned at https://www.ohenergyratings.com!

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