Be sure to catch today’s must-read story in the Akron Beacon Journal about how there’s an international effort to develop wind power in Ohio as a direct result of policies enacted by Governor Strickland:
The state is aggressively pursuing wind as a new source of energy, jobs and economic development.
Six sprawling, large-scale wind farms with up to 436 towering turbines ? and a price tag in excess of $2 billion ? are proposed across western Ohio.
Although Ohio had lagged behind neighboring states in wind power, the passage of Strickland’s energy policy in 2008 has lead to surge in wind farm developments.
According to the ABJ, there are already four projects pending approval with the State with two more expected to be filed soon.? One proposed project near Urbana alone is expected to generate as much electricity as a large nuclear plant or half of a large coal power plant.
According to some estimates, Ohio will get 3,000 to 4,000 additional large wind turbines.
About 20 wind-energy developers have been scouring western Ohio for several years in search of the best sites. The players involved include British, Spanish, German and Portuguese conglomerates with wind experience in Europe.
Ohio’s impending wind boom ? triggered largely by that 2008 change in state law ? is seen by some as a sign the state is moving toward cleaner, renewable energy and away from dirty, polluting coal that has ruled Ohio economically for decades.
Under Ohio’s ”advanced energy portfolio standard,” 25 percent of the state’s energy must come from advanced and renewable sources by 2025.
The law requires that Ohio’s investor-owned utilities, like FirstEnergy, obtain at least half of that power within the state. If wind accounts for 75 to 95 percent of that power, Ohio has created an instant market for 5,000 to 7,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity.
Governor Strickland ran in 2006 to bring just this kind of turnaround to Ohio.? While other states, even Indiana, was willing to promote alternative energy like wind, Ohio was behind the curve.? But Governor Strickland’s 2008 renewal energy portfolio mandate has had almost immediate impact in catching the State up and becoming a leader in a new energy economy.