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Nuclear energy bill won’t affect plans for wind farm

BELLEVUE – The approval of a bill to save Ohio’s nuclear power plants won’t affect plans to place a wind farm in Erie and Huron counties.

Apex Clean Energy wants to construct up 71 wind turbines in the two counties in with its Emerson Creek project. Its proposal is being reviewed by the Ohio Power Siting Board, which holds the authority to deny or approve it.

The Ohio General Assembly recently approved House Bill 6, which subsidized Ohio’s nuclear energy plants, including FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse.

But the bill also eliminated Ohio’s efficiency and renewable energy standards. Despite this change, Apex said it plans to move forward with the Emerson Creek if the board approves it.

“Hundreds of local landowners and farmers have invested time and energy into local wind projects with Apex Clean Energy,” Apex spokeswoman Natasha Montague said. “We continue our commitment to these projects and the communities they benefit.”

The project has faced significant opposition from citizen groups like Seneca Anti-Wind Union and Erie-Huron Anti Wind who feel the decision to approve wind turbines should be left up to the people in the community, not a board in Columbus.

Ohio House Rep, Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, submitted an amendment to the bill, which would allow locals to vote on a referendum to approve or reject any certificates issued by the board for wind farms.

The measure was supported by both anti-wind groups, but the amendment wasn’t included in the version of the bill that was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine.

“Fortunately, the anti-property rights wind referendum was not included in this bill,” Montague said. “Ohio’s elected officials helped preserve a vital and competitive energy industry in the state while ensuring that Ohio’s farmers and their community can benefit from billions of dollars of private investment.”