Chamber Calls on Lawmakers to Protect Renewable Energy Investment

September 30, 2015


Local Chamber Leader Susan Munroe Cites “Staggering” Economic Development Opportunities for Communities in Ohio’s Wind Corridor

As the Energy Mandates Study Committee today released recommendations on Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, local chamber leader Susan Munroe asked the governor and policymakers to remember how important these investments are to communities in Ohio’s “wind corridor.”

“We want our elected officials to know that local chambers of commerce, particularly those of us in the wind corridor, know how important these investments are to rural Ohio communities,” said Susan Munroe, President and CEO of the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Advisory Council of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE).

Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is a national network of local chambers of commerce that recognize the economic development opportunities of clean energy.

“Our county was struggling before wind energy came to our community,” Munroe said. Then, in 2011, Iberdrola Renewables invested $600 million in the Blue Creek Wind Farm—the single largest investment in the state that year.

Today, Munroe added, the Blue Creek Wind Farm pays Van Wert $2 million annually in local taxes and nearly as much in landowner lease payments—with public schools being the primary beneficiaries.

In another project, Apex Clean Energy acquired the rights to develop the Long Prairie Wind Farm in Van Wert—a project that could deliver $800 to 900 million to the county.

“Apex is ready to go. They’re ready to invest. They’re just waiting on Ohio to get it together,” said Munroe.

“That’s more than $1 billion in prospective investments in our county from renewable energy,” she added. “Let’s not lose this staggering economic development and job growth opportunity to another state due to legislative uncertainty. We look to our governor and policymakers to protect these investments for us.”