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Commissioners present map prohibiting solar, wind projects throughout entire county




From left: Seneca County Commissioners Mike Kerschner, Anthony Paradiso, and Tyler Shuff

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners received feedback Thursday morning during a public hearing regarding Ohio Senate Bill 52, which grants county commissioners new powers to kill wind or solar projects early in their development.

Although the board did not officially act Thursday, a map was presented that would prohibit all solar and wind projects that generate more than 50 megawatts in all unincorporated areas of the county.

Map of Seneca County showing the proposed prohibition zones for solar and wind energy projects in green, and incorporated zones, such as cities and villages, in gray. (Credit: Seneca County Board of Commissioners)

Board President Mike Kerschner said the bill, and the pending action by the county, is meant to give more local control to those most impacted by large alternative energy projects. He said once a resolution is approved by the county, there is a 30-day window in which those who oppose the decision could petition for a referendum, or a vote, to affirm or reject the commissioners’ decision.

The petition must have at least eight percent of the number of registered electors who voted in the county in the most recent gubernatorial election.

Kerschner thanked Ohio Senator Bill Reineke for sponsoring the bill and thanked the citizens who showed up to the hearing to provide feedback. Most public comments Thursday were in support of the county’s resolution to prohibit large alternative energy projects in the county.

A vote on the matter is expected to occur at Tuesday’s board session.

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