COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Senate passed Senate Bill 52 on Wednesday in a win for Republican lawmakers. The bill concerns the construction of solar and wind farms in Ohio, creating a requirement for more local input before a project can be approved.
“Economic development and innovative energy technology is always welcome in the State of Ohio, but not at the expense of rural communities who do not want them,” Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said in a press release. “This bill keeps local residents and officials informed and in-control of where they are located.”
The bill is of great concern for Huffman in particular, as the fight over a proposed Birch Solar Project in the Lima area continues.
Opponents of the bill believe that it will discourage energy companies to bring new jobs and generate money for the Ohio economy and hurt personal property rights, while its supporters believe that communities have a right to have control over their local land.
SB52 will now head to the Ohio House for further consideration. The bill must pass the house before it is sent to Governor Mike DeWine to be signed into law.