Crain's editorial: Power failure

May 31, 2020 at 5:21 PM

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"LEEDCo. is weighing an appeal to the board, and potentially to the Ohio Supreme Court. The state, meanwhile, notes that LEEDCo. and its project partner, Fred Olsen Renewables, could begin operating at night in the eight-month period if they conduct radar studies and provide the power siting board with a bird and bat impact mitigation plan, including a collision monitoring plan. But as Energy News pointed out, there's "no guarantee of a favorable outcome even if monitoring data did not show significant impacts to bats or birds."

Regardless of how you feel about wind energy or this project in particular — as Karpinski points out, there's a lot of "pseudoscience around this issue" aimed at discrediting it — the process here was badly flawed. There's no way the Icebreaker project should have gone this far down the road, with all the energy expended on the development side and by regulatory bodies, to have what amounts to a significant financial poison pill reinserted so late in the process.

Any developer looking at a potential renewable energy venture in Ohio has to think twice about the wisdom of doing so. The message, once again, is that Ohio is not welcoming to renewable projects — a baffling position in a state that has much to gain on the manufacturing side if wind turbines take hold in the Midwest as they are doing now on the East Coast."

-- Editorial Board, Crain's Cleveland Business

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