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Senate Bill 58’s changes to Ohio’s clean energy laws could push Iberdrola Renewables out of Ohio  

Credit:  Jeff Bell, Staff reporter Business First | Nov 21, 2013 | www.bizjournals.com ~~

Passage of a bill that would alter Ohio’s renewable energy standards could result in an alternative energy company backing away from plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on wind-farm construction on the western side of the state.

As proposed, Senate Bill 58 would replace the requirement that a portion of renewable energy generated in Ohio come from in-state sources such as wind farms and solar installations. It is one of numerous changes to Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards proposed by Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati.

Eliminating the in-state source requirement would cause Iberdrola Renewables to rethink wind farm projects it is looking at building in Van Wert and Putnam counties, said Dan Litchfield, a senior project developer with the company.

“There would be less motivation to establish wind farms in Ohio,” he said, adding Iberdrola likes the stability the current law provides for renewable projects.

Litchfield’s comments came during a conference call held Thursday by the Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center to discuss the environmental advocacy group’s new report on the benefits provided by the renewable and energy efficiency standards enacted by Ohio legislators in 2008. You can click here to read the report.

Iberdrola completed the 304-megawatt Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties in 2012. Litchfield said the company chose Ohio over Indiana for the $600 million project because of Ohio’s clean energy law.

“We knew it would create a market for clean energy that we could compete for,” he said.

Iberdrola is developing a 100- to 300-megawatt wind farm in Van Wert County and 150-megawatt facility in Putnam County. Construction costs are estimated at $2 million per megawatt for each project, Litchfield said.

Seitz had said he was shooting for a vote on S.B. 58 this week by the Senate’s Public Utilities Committee, but that apparently has been pushed back to give lawmakers more time to review amendments to the bill.

They may include a compromise on in-state generation of renewables, with Seitz telling Gongwer News Service he is reluctantly considering such a change even though he still considers the requirement a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

We reported earlier this week that environmental groups have aligned with manufactures to lay out changes to S.B. 58.

Source:  Jeff Bell, Staff reporter Business First | Nov 21, 2013 | www.bizjournals.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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