Northern Ohioans for Wind (NOW) relies on active community support for the successful development of wind projects. Finding the best way to show your support for wind development in your community and to make your voice heard (and matter!) can be confusing and challenging. 

 

This “N.O.W Toolkit” will give you the resources you need to fight for wind energy that will benefit Northern Ohio for generations to come! 

Using these tips, you can maximize your impact and help pave the road for alternative energy sources!

 

WHY WIND AND WHY GET INVOLVED?

The prospering Wind Energy industry employs the most technicians and is the second-fastest-growing industry in the country, and Ohio is one of the top states in the country for clean energy jobs with around 112,486[1] available jobs. 

Wind energy development also brings a tremendous amount of economic support to rural communities. Farmers receive over a quarter billion dollars a year in land leasing payments with the average land leasing paying up to $8,000[2] per turbine per year. This kind of support allows farmers to reinvest in their farms, buy new equipment, and secure financial stability for their farms' future. In Paulding County, landowners were paid more than $12 million by the Timber Road Wind Farm, and almost $20 million was spent in a 50- mile radius around the farm [3].

According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are three main types of wind energy:

  • Utility-scale wind

    • Wind turbines that range in size from 100 kilowatts to several megawatts and are used to power large energy grids such as universities and industrial parks. 100 kilowatts is enough energy to power 15 homes!!

  • “Small” Scale Wind

    •  With a single small wind turbine that operates below 100 kilowatts, you can directly power a home, farm or small business and are not connected to the grid

  • Offshore Wind

    • Wind turbines are erected in large bodies of water, usually offshore. Offshore wind turbines are larger than land-based turbines and can generate more power.

 

The wind projects in Northern Ohio will be utility-scale projects that will supply homes and businesses in our communities with energy.

There is a small, but vocal contingent that is fighting against the progress of Ohio. Northern Ohioans for Wind needs your help to help make sure these anti-development activists do not stop our communities from receiving the benefits of wind! Please use this guide to help you make your opinion heard!

 

CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS

There are several ways to contact your elected officials. Here are a few easy ways to take action:

There are several different ways to contact your elected officials. Below are examples to make it easy to contact your elected officials. Remember your voice matters!

There are several different ways to contact your elected officials. Below are examples to make it easy to contact your elected officials. 

Phone Calls

  • It’s important to remember that law-makers WORK FOR YOU!  Regardless of the office, if it is your city councilperson, county legislator, or state representative, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them!   More often than not, phone calls are the best way to make sure your voice is heard.

 

You can find out who your representatives are here and your local representatives here.

 

 

Phone Script:

“Hello, can I please speak to [policymaker]?” 

“Hi, this is [your name] and I live in your district. I’m calling to discuss the benefits of wind energy for Ohio.

Expanding Wind Development projects will promote economic support for our communities, contribute to our state’s energy security, and create broader energy sources that will boost Ohio’s posterity.

In the interest of Ohio’s future, I urge you to [support the development of wind projects/ fight against legislation which unfairly targets wind energy development]

How will you take action to propel Ohio into a greener future?”

 

Emails:

  • Emails are another great way to get in touch with your representative. Although they are often not the most direct way to reach policymakers, they are a great way to follow up with elected officials.

 

Here is a template email you can use:

 

My name is [name] and I am a citizen of [local town/county.] I believe wind energy is critical to the economic and environmental future of Ohio.

Developing wind energy will greatly benefit the rural communities of Northern Ohio. By expanding the state’s energy options, our communities will grow and so will our opportunities.

I am a [mother, friend, daughter, etc.] and have lived in the town for "X" years. I want to promote the future of Ohio's energy and economic security and I’m hoping you will support [X] Project.

Sincerely, [name]

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND WHY THEY MATTER

The public comment period is very important to the permitting process.

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) is responsible for issuing permits, and approving wind development projects, and is required to hold public meetings during the permitting process. This is a great way to give your opinion in person since these meetings are designed to hear public concerns.

Once the application for a wind project is submitted, the OPSB holds a formal hearing. Formal testimony at a public hearing is one of the most tried-and-true ways to speak up about an issue as a concerned citizen, but it can also be the most nerve-racking.

To prepare for your testimony, keep these few things in mind:

Giving Testimony to the OPSB

Step 1: Know whom you’re talking to

Whether it’s the OPSB or the U.S. Senate, understanding your audience is critical to ensure your testimony is the most effective.

Make sure you do not insult the committee members or other people who are giving testimony.

It’s highly possible, even likely, that your opposition will be loud and aggressive, but “taking the high road” and staying above the drama of the process shows that you take the issue seriously and with professionalism.

Step 2: Do your homework

While sharing your testimony it is important to express why this is personally important to you and it’s just as important to back your opinion with as many facts as you can.

Step 3: Be Prepared

Make sure you know where and when the hearing will be held. Stay current on the agenda as dates and times can change.

Step 4: Preparing your testimony

Written Testimony: You can submit written comments to the OPSB within the comment period to the Docketing Division and make sure you include the case number.

Verbal Testimony: The best way to give an impactful testimony is to organize your thoughts prior to the hearing. It is important to include WHY and HOW the project will affect you.

Written Testimony: You can submit written comments to the OPSB within the comment period to the Docketing Division and make sure you include the case number.

 

You can always visit the OPSB’s website for more information!

 

Spread the Word!

 Social Media is a great and free way to spread your message online, here are some tips for social media best practices:

  • Short and sweet:

    • It’s important to tailor your post to highlight important parts of wind energy, such as the economic benefits or the importance of diversifying Ohio’s energy profile.

  • #OhioWindNowTags and Hashtags:

    • DTags: decision-makers monitor posts they’ve been tagged in, so don’t be afraid to directly tag key players and let them know your thoughts on an issue.  In addition, you can use tags to draw attention to a trending issue. For example, you could tag your post with #OhioWindNow that way anyone following that hashtag can find your post.

  • Share NOW’s posts and be active on our social media!

    • NOW posts fun facts about wind, important events, and other great information to share. Help us spread the word.

  • Call to action

    • Let your friends and followers know how they can get involved!

  • Pics or it won’t happen

    • Pictures are the best way to capture people’s attention as they quickly scroll through their feeds

 

Sample Post:

With your support, NOW can grow wind development to create jobs, clean the environment, boost local economies, and allow Ohio to rely on its own renewable energy resources. NOW hopes you can use this toolkit as a resource while fighting on behalf of wind development projects. Getting involved in local politics will give you a chance to personally impact policy!

 

Dates to remember!

On September 12th the OPSB will hold a hearing for the Republic Wind farm from 3 pm to 8 pm at the Marion Center at Tiffin University (case number: 17-2295-EL-BGN). Please feel free to post public comments!

 

Quick Links:

 

How to stay up to date with Northern Ohioans for Wind and important dates and facts

Facebook – @NorthernOhioansforWind

Website – www.ohiowindnow.org

Contact us at community@ohiowindnow.org

 

Elected Officials of Northern Ohio and OPSB Board Members

Huron County- Sen. Nathan Manning, (614) 466-7613

Erie County- Sen. Theresa Gavarone, (614) 466-8060

Seneca and Sandusky Counties- David Burke, (614) 466-8049

 

OPSB Voting Board Members

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio: Sam Randazzo, Chairman

Ohio Department of Agriculture: Dorothy Pelanda, Director

Ohio Development Services Agency: Lydia Mihalik, Director

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency: Laurie Stevenson, Director

Ohio Department of Health: Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, Director

Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Mary Mertz, Director

Public Member: Gregory Murphy, P.E.

Non-Voting Legislative Members

Ohio Senate

Senator Steve Wilson (Alternate: Senator Jay Hottinger)

Senator Sandra Williams (Alternate: Senator Sean O'Brien)

 

Ohio House of Representatives

Representative Jeffrey Crossman (Alternate: Representative Adam Miller)

Representative Nino Vitale (Alternate: Representative Dick Stein) Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Steve Wilson, Chair- (614) 466-9737

Rob McColley, Vice-Chair- (614) 466-8150

Sandra R. Williams, Ranking Minority Member- (614) 466-4857

Andrew O. Brenner- (614) 466-8086

Dave Burke- (614) 466-8049

Hearcel F. Craig- (614) 466-5131

Matt Dolan- (614) 466-8056

John Eklund- (614) 644-7718

Frank Hoagland- (614) 466-6508

Matt Huffman- (614) 466- 7584

Sean J. O'Brien- (614) 466- 8156

Bob Peterson- (614) 466-8156

Michael A. Rulli- (614) 466-8285

 

 

[1] https://www.cleanjobsmidwest.com/state/ohio

[2] https://www.landmarkdividend.com/wind-turbine-lease-rates-2/#targetText=On%20average%2C%20rental%20payments%20for,host%20several%20hundred%20wind%20turbines.

[3] https://timberroadwindfarm.com