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The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) has adopted rules implementing certification requirements for wind-powered electric generation facilities. The rules outline requirements for aesthetics, setback, noise levels, ice throw, blade sheer and shadow flicker, among other issues.

Developers who wish to site wind facilities in Ohio that are capable of generating 5 MW or more of electricity must first apply for and obtain a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need from the OPSB. Under the new rules, the application must include a complete description of the proposed facility, including - among other criteria - the type and number of wind turbines to be used, the land areas required during construction and operation, and the footprint, height and blade length of each turbine.

For each wind turbine, the applicant must list the setback distance from nearby residences and property lines, as well as evaluate the noise levels expected at adjacent property boundaries. Each turbine must be located at least one and one-tenth times the height of the turbine from the nearest property line, and at least 750 feet from adjacent residences. The applicant must also evaluate and describe the potential impacts of ice throw, blade shear and shadow flicker upon nearby properties, as well as any plans to minimize the potential impacts.

More than 20 industry stakeholders - including the American Wind Energy Association, Buckeye Wind, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Union Neighbors United - filed written comments in response to proposed rules issued by the OPSB on Sept. 15.

SOURCE: Ohio Power Siting Board

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