Community leaders form Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance to save Ohio’s nuclear plants

A “broad-based coalition of community leaders and organizations” have joined to form the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance, a group “seeking a public policy solution” that will allow the state’s two nuclear energy plants to remain in operation, The News-Herald reports. The coalition “will engage legislators, policymakers and the public to highlight the employment, economic, environmental and grid reliability benefits” provided by the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear plants, the article reports. Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino said the plants contribute “over $500 million annually to the state’s economy — over 4,000 jobs are at stake.” Members of the alliance include the Perry Economic Development Council, members of the North Perry Village Council and the Mentor Council, the superintendent of Perry Local Schools and other community leaders. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Lebanon plans CRA that would provide incentives for $18M development

Lebanon City Council plans to create a new community reinvestment area along the city’s North Broadway corridor that would allow a proposed $18-million residential and commercial project to receive tax abatements, the Dayton Daily News reports. That development, at the site of the city’s maintenance garage, would include “18 town homes, 86 apartments, a brewpub and two restaurants,” according to the article. The city projects the development will help generate $65,000 in annual income tax and $1.1 million in “annual total spending power.” Developer Jim Cohen’s proposal said the project will provide parking and other amenities, and will facilitate commercial and residential development close to the downtown area. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives

Proposed $100M Cleveland microgrid would make downtown power-secure

Two university energy centers have proposed a $100-million microgrid that could protect downtown Cleveland businesses from power failures and cyber attacks on the grid, reports. The proposal, which Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University prepared for the Cleveland Foundation, said commercial customers “would have clean power delivered in a cyber-secure system designed to be operational 99.999 percent” of the time, translating to “less than 6 minutes of power loss per year,” the article reports. The grid “would be designed to ‘island’ itself from the larger grid if needed” to insulate customers from regional or national blackouts. An economic impact study “predicts the project by 2026 would create as many as 2,264 jobs with annual earnings of nearly $162 million.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, partners earn CDFA Excellence in Development Finance Award

The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority was given the 2018 Council of Development Finance Agencies’ (CDFA) Distinguished Development Finance Project Award for its work on the Bridge Park parking garage project in Dublin, Ohio. The City of Dublin, Summit County Development Finance Authority and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority were also recognized for their partnership on the project.

The award spotlights outstanding development finance programs, agencies, leaders and projects for excellence in the use – and championing –  of financing tools for economic development. Bridge Park is a $500 million public-private development project that gives Dublin’s Bridge Street District a walkable, urban community featuring more than one million square feet of office, retail, restaurant and housing space. The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority began work on the project with developer Crawford Hoying in 2015, having issued over $280 million in bonds. 

Bricker & Eckler served as bond counsel for many elements of the financing and has represented Crawford Hoying for the Bridge Park project.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives

SARTA offers free loan of fuel-cell bus to any transit authority in the U.

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and the manufacturers of its fuel-cell buses have launched a national promotion “to persuade other transit authorities to switch to hydrogen fuel cells,” reports. SARTA “is offering to loan” one of its 13 fuel-cell buses free of charge “to any transit authority in the nation interested in seeing first-hand how the now commercially available technology works,” according to the article. Kirt Conrad, SARTA’s CEO, said, “[g]iving the people across the country the opportunity to see, learn about, and ride on a hydrogen-fuel cell bus is the best way to demonstrate this technology’s potential to totally transform the way vehicles are powered here and around the world.” SARTA’s fuel cell buses have electric motors powered by on-board fuel cells that use oxygen from the air and stored hydrogen to generate power, emitting only water. For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy

PACE Financing Resource Center and whitepaper

Bricker's Economic Development team recently launched a collection of online resources highlighting the opportunities, challenges and mechanics of PACE financing. In addition to an interactive map identifying all of the state's PACE programs, the resource center also features a free, downloadable white paper describing the details of using this financing tool in Ohio.  

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

New Albany International Business Park continues to grow

The New Albany International Business Park, which houses “more than two dozen retail, technology and manufacturing companies,” recently received approval to annex an additional 130 acres, and “hopes to see an additional 450 acres” added as well, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Facebook’s “$750 million, 970,000-square-foot complex is under construction on 345 acres” with the first phase expected to be completed in 2019, according to the article. AEP’s transmissions operations facility “was already at capacity” when it opened its 175,000-square-foot building last year and quickly began construction on a neighboring twin facility. The business park currently “covers about 11.5 million square feet of development between Franklin and Licking counties.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development

Energy policy important for landing Amazon investment

Amazon’s head of energy policy, Jake Oster, “implored economic development leaders” at a Midwestern Governors Association conference “to put energy policy on par with other economic development considerations,” Columbus Business First reports. Oster urged government leaders “to think progressively if they’re trying to land one of [Amazon’s] massive facilities,” the article reports. Amazon’s Web Services segment is halfway to its commitment to power its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy. Oster said, “[a]t the end of the day, our priorities are sourcing reliable, cost-competitive clean energy, and we want policies that facilitate those outcomes. We want policymakers to use caution when using barriers that make it harder to develop clean energy.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

“Bring Your Green” participants saved more than $600K in energy costs

Results of the ‘Bring Your Green 2.0 Challenge’ were recently announced by Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), Dayton Regional Green, IGS Energy, Vectren and Energy Optimizers, the Dayton Daily News reports. Local businesses, schools and organizations “competed to reduce their environmental impact, save energy and resources, and engage their employees and students in sustainability efforts,” according to the article. The challenge resulted in energy cost savings of $639,644, more than “6,875 tons of CO2 release into the atmosphere prevented,” 6,867,064 kWh in electricity saved, and the equivalent “to taking 935 homes off the grid and 1,336 cars off the road.” For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

JEDD has proven to be a win-win for Tallmadge, Brimfield Township

The creation of a joint economic development district (JEDD) between Tallmadge and Brimfield Township has proven to be “a win-win for both,” Tallmadge Mayor David G. Kline said in a recent article. Each local government “benefits economically through the arrangement which permits the pair to develop a business zone and share revenue,” the article reports. The Brimfield-Tallmadge JEDD “generated approximately $1.3 million in income tax revenue in 2017,” according to Tallmadge Finance Director Mollie Gilbride. The development “has elicited strong job creation,” adding hundreds of jobs to businesses in the designation. Kline says the JEDD is one of the reasons Tallmadge is in “great financial condition.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development
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