July 13, 2015
Kevin Ledet, Chairperson
Greenwich Neighbors United
The residents of Greenwich watch and wonder if the changes made in the recently signed budget bill (HB 64) will impact the potential development of Greenwich Windpark. Governor Kasich signed the biennial budget bill which creates a new tax break for wind power and eases restrictions on turbines, but many of the changes appear to be geared toward attracting a new data center to central Ohio. The legislation also exempts certain wind farms that have already been certified for construction from increased setback requirements the legislature imposed last year. In addition, a five-year extension of the existing “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) program for renewable energy sources was approved.
Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), Chairman of the Senate Public Utilities Committee, opposed the new tax break and said he had hoped the legislature would have waited for the recommendations of the Ohio Energy Mandate Study Committee which is due out by September 30, 2015.
Kevin Ledet, Chairman of Greenwich Neighbors United (GNU), echoed Senator Seitz’s opposition to the tax breaks. Ledet stated, “Wind energy is inefficient and expensive. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for products that only benefit wind energy corporations and hurt the local citizens.”
GNU submitted a memo to the Energy Mandate Study Committee last March urging the Ohio General Assembly to repeal or indefinitely suspend the annual escalation in compliance quantities specified as part of Ohio’s energy mandates. (A copy of the memo is attached.)
The Energy Mandate Study Committee is scheduled to meet on July, 20, 2015. Ledet said, “I’m hopeful that the members of the committee have read our memo and consider how our community has been impacted by the industrial-size wind park that is being proposed. We have spent a lot of time and money trying to protect our land, and we hope other communities don’t have to go through the same thing that we have had to go through.”