Sandusky County commissioners have approved making the county an Alternative Energy Zone, which will enable qualified renewable energy projects in the county to receive special tax treatement. According to an article in The (Toledo) Blade, the zone was approved to assist wind turbine manufacturer Nordex, which has proposed a 70- to 80-turbine wind-energy farm in York Township in Sandusky County and Thompson Township in Seneca County.
Sandusky County joins Clinton, Hardin, Henry, Noble, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Summit and Van Wert counties as the state's first Alternative Energy Zones. The AEZ designation, made possible through last session's Senate Bill 232, speeds the approval process for developers, reducing the uncertainty and cost of seeking county-by-county approval, and locks in revenue at a set rate for the counties where energy projects are located. Last year, Governor John Kasich signed into law with the rest of the state budget a two-year extension of SB 232, which also significantly reduced the tax burden on qualified energy projects. Without the extension, SB 232 was scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.