The Indiana legislators are facing a dilemma between siding with the wind and solar farms or considering the property rights and the rights of neighbors. Nevertheless, the legislators have expressed the difference in opinion concerning this matter, making the proposal stalled in the Indiana House of Representatives.
The developer of the bill, State Rep. Ed Soliday, stated that if the bill doesn’t go through the legislation stage, then people are going to pay more for electricity since the investors and business people are hopeful that renewables can minimize these costs. The bill supports the development of wind and solar energy through renewable energy investments in Indiana. The lawmaker stated that the ban on wind farms in the state by 34 counties had scared away companies that were coming to develop their utilities in this state.
The head of government relations at RWE Renewables, Will Everly, articulated that the failure of this bill would make Indiana an unfriendly place for businesses. He added that the efforts placed in the establishment of the 21st Century Energy Task Force plan would not yield much in the state if this bill does not get the attention it deserves in the counties. The Soliday bill gives the residents some power over the wind and solar power standards, although not the full authority to dictate their direction. However, the Indiana Association of County Commissioners has declared their opposition against such regulation, citing that they wouldn’t entirely dictate the direction of the solar and wind energy projects.
Jake German from the association said that the Board of County Commissioners has the power to determine the direction between renewable energy and economic development policy while incorporating the concerns raised by the citizens from these counties. He added that some counties had opposed wind energy projects while others have fully agreed to the inception of the renewable energy companies in solar energy to ensure that it takes the lead.
Betsy Mills from the Henry County Council noted that it is crucial to understand that those against wind energy projects have not rejected renewable energy. Mills explained that those who disagree had explored the security risks associated with the renewable energy source that they are opposing. The agreement with this bill would be promoting the development of the renewable energy industry at the expense of the interests of the people.
Soliday stated that they would ensure that the implementation of the bill does not interfere with the other sectors which have raised concerns. Soliday stated that they are evaluating the compromise between where one person’s property ends and where their neighbors’ property starts. Soliday is hopeful that the bill goes through the legislation to help the people it intends to help.