COLUMBUS, Ohio—As Gov. John Kasich prepares to sign a wide-ranging budget review bill Monday, wind energy advocates are urging him to veto a provision they claim would effectively block any new wind farms in Ohio.
Under House Bill 483, wind turbines would have to be at least 1,300 feet or so – depending on blade length – from a property line. Current law requires turbines to be about 1,300 feet from a structure and roughly 550 feet from a neighboring property line.
Legislative proponents of the measure say it will ensure that property owners aren’t disturbed by noise, shadows, or falling ice from a neighboring turbine.
But Dayna Baird Payne, who represents the American Wind Energy Association, said the restrictions will kill $2.5 billion in planned wind energy investments in the state by making it impossible to build turbines on a scale needed for them to be profitable.
For example, she said, if the proposed changes were already in effect, only 12 of the 152 turbines in the Blue Creek Wind Farm in Paulding and Van Wert counties would be approved.
The legislation comes on the heels of a two-year freeze on Ohio’s renewable energy standards, which give utilities until 2025 to get 25 percent of their power from renewable and advanced technology energy sources.
In addition to the wind-energy provision, House Bill 483 also includes one-year tax cut expansions on income and small businesses, among other measures.
Under the bill, a 9-percent income tax cut previously approved for this year would be increased to a 10-percent cut.
Another change would allow small businesses and pass-through entities to deduct 75 percent of their income up to $250,000 in 2014, up from a 50-percent deduction in current law.
The cuts come as a result of higher revenues and lower state spending than expected.
Kasich will hold a signing ceremony for HB 483 on Monday afternoon at a food bank in Grove City, a Columbus suburb.
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