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New law authorizes local control over solar, wind projects

July 12, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine has signed into law a bill allowing Ohio county commissioners to determine the fate of renewable energy projects in the state.

When the measure signed Monday takes effect in 90 days, county commissions will be able to block proposed wind turbines, solar farms or other renewable projects or site them in specific areas of a county. The proposal will also add a commissioner and trustee to the Ohio Power Siting Board while it reviews local projects.

Under the new law, county commissioners and trustees have to be notified of proposed projects at least 90 days before developers file to the board.

Proponents of the legislation argue that these steps will put local control and input at the forefront of these projects. But opponents, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and environmental groups, say it discriminates against renewable forms of energy since such measures aren’t applied to coal and natural gas projects.