Commissioners To Decide On Exclusion Zones For Solar, Wind Projects

A law passed last year gives county commissioners in Ohio more oversight when it comes to approving wind and solar projects.

Most townships in Hancock County have asked the Hancock County Board of Commissioners to approve exclusion zones in their townships to prohibit such projects.

Tim Mayle, Director of Findlay – Hancock County Economic Development says banning wind and solar projects outright would hurt the county’s economic growth.

“We want to make sure we’re thinking about future economic development projects that may require renewable energy,” Mayle told WFIN News after the commissioners meeting in which he addressed the board.

“An exclusion zone would kill those projects upfront. With the local controls that are in place, let’s allow the commissioners to use the local controls rather than excluding projects right off the bat.”




Mayle points out that two solar projects planned for the Arcadia area would not be subject to action by the commissioners because the projects were proposed before the new law giving commissioners more oversight took effect, but he’s concerned about the effect on future projects.

“Let’s not limit the possibility of large capital investments that would be coming in for data centers and advanced manufacturing that may want a renewable energy source tied to it.”

Mayle says more companies are using renewable energy because it’s becoming more cost effective and if that option is eliminated in Hancock County those companies won’t invest here.

Public hearings on the two solar projects will be held in March and April and then the Ohio Power Siting Board will decide whether those projects move forward.