Columbus City Council approves tax incentives for CoverMyMeds new HQ

Columbus-based prescription software firm CoverMyMeds recently received approval for two tax incentives for its $225 million project to build a new corporate campus just west of downtown; The Columbus Dispatch reports the incentives are “worth up to $83 million.” Columbus City Council approved a 15-year, 100 percent property tax abatement and an 8-year income-tax incentive for the company. CoverMyMeds “promised to retain and relocate 592 existing jobs” and to “create 1,032 new jobs with payroll totaling $76.4 million within five years” as part of the agreement, according to the article. The company will move its corporate headquarters from its current location at Miranova Place to McKinley Avenue west of North Hartford Avenue. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Opportunity Zone program stimulates development in distressed communities

A new federal program will encourage investment in distressed communities — Opportunity Zones — through tax incentives (see our April 10, 2018 blog post). The Opportunity Zone program allows taxpayers who invest in low-income areas specifically designated by the state and federal government to take advantage of up to three benefits: a temporary deferral, a reduction in gain realized through basis adjustment, and exclusion for capital gains on the investment. To qualify for these benefits, the investment must take place through a designated Opportunity Fund, an entity organized to acquire and hold for investment purposes equity interests in businesses or properties in Opportunity Zones. Ohio has 320 designated Opportunity Zones; there are 8,000 nationwide. For more, read our full article.

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, State Updates

PACE legislation could be first of many for Solon

Solon City Council recently gave a first reading to legislation that would allow Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve to take advantage of low-interest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for roof replacement, Cleveland.com reports. The company “is seeking $103,000 in financing to repair or replace 20,000 square feet of roof on its facility, including insulation and lighting for better energy efficiency,” according to the article. In order to do that, the company must petition the city to place an assessment on its property. Coucilman Bob Pelunis said the city needs to make sure “we’re getting the word out” so other companies are aware of the opportunity for PACE financing, noting “there could be a lot of individual legislation coming before council in the future” from companies who want to take advantage of the program. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

EDP Renewables secures two PPAs for Timber Road IV project

EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR) has secured “two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with an undisclosed commercial and industrial entity to sell the energy produced from its 125 MW Timber Road IV wind project,” nawindpower.com reports. Timber Road IV is expected to begin operations in 2019. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio’s solar capacity increased by 2,600% in 10 years, report says

A new report by Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center shows the state’s renewable energy generation has grown exponentially since 2008, Columbus Free Press reports. Ohio “went from producing 1 Gigawatt [GWh] hour of solar energy and 15 GWh of wind energy in 2008, to now producing 260 GWh of solar energy and 1,563 GWh of wind energy,” according to the article. Nancy Goodes, Campaign Organizer for Environment Ohio, said the past decade “has seen explosive growth in the key technologies to power Ohio with clean, renewable energy. Ohio is poised to accelerate its shift away from fossil fuels.” The report’s authors called on both the state and federal government to strengthen clean power standards and “continue to allow Ohio to grow its renewable energy industry.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Trolley District project awarded $2M in tax credits to redevelop historic buildings

A historic Columbus trolley-barn complex near Franklin Park will become the Trolley District, featuring a brewpub, restaurant and market, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The state awarded $2 million in Historic Preservation Tax Credits to the development of the site, which “is made up of six brick buildings built between 1882 and 1920 that once served the city’s electric trolley system,” according to the article. Developer Brad DeHays plans a $14 million project to convert three of the six brick buildings into a brewpub, restaurant and market; he expects to find more tenants for the remaining buildings. His plan also includes a $15-million, 102-apartment complex across the street from the former trolley barns. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives

U.S. DOE offers up to $6M in funding for wind R&D

The Wind Energy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) “aimed at catalyzing technical and operational solutions to reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts” of wind turbines, nawindpower.com reports. The “Advanced Wind R&D to Reduce Costs and Environmental Impacts” FOA will provide up to $6 million in funding, according to the article. The FOA will provide $2 million each to three research areas: reducing costs and environmental impacts of bat curtailment at wind plants, developing “advanced components and other instrumentation for advanced bat-deterrent technologies,” and developing “offshore wind instrumentation for environmental monitoring and mitigation.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Federal Updates, Project Finance, Renewable Energy

Ohio manufacturing could be revolution starting-point in advance energy technologies

Two analytical policy groups focused on “the impact of changing energy technologies on national defense” say Ohio’s manufacturing heritage “could be the starting point of a revolution in advanced-energy technologies,” Cleveland.com reports. CNA, a non-profit research and analysis organization “with roots in national defense analytical work,” and the Atlantic Council, “a think tank created in the early 1960s” in support of NATO, said the United States must embrace advanced-energy technologies or “the nation’s competitive manufacturing abilities and its military superiority will erode,” according to the article. David Livingston, the Atlantic Council’s deputy director for climate and advanced energy, said places like Cleveland that have a rich manufacturing heritage “have a role to play in the United States either being a leader or a laggard.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Proposed billion-dollar plus Planet Oasis is largest project in Ohio in decades

Planet Oasis, a proposed multi-billion dollar entertainment complex on 350 acres in Delaware County, is “the twice the size of any other project” in Ohio and “will continue to expand in following years,” according to developer David Glimcher in a recent Columbus Business First article. Planet Oasis will include an outdoor sports park, an e-sports facility, an arena, 15 to 20 hotels and 75 to 85 restaurants, among other attractions; Glimcher said it could create 15,000 jobs. A second Columbus Business First article reports that the capstone “would be a 200,000-square-foot UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, featuring a movie theatre, bowling alley, laser tag arena, arcade and a ‘uni-coaster.’” The project “is already in a tax-increment financing district with a joint economic development agreement set up for the Tanger Outlet Mall” that opened in 2016. For more, read the Columbus Business First articles here and here.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Ohio’s first landfill-based solar farm nearly complete

Cuyahoga County’s 4-megawatt solar array on 17 acres of the City of Brooklyn’s former landfill is expected to begin generating power in test mode by the end of July, Cleveland.com reports. The array is the first one in Ohio to be built on a former landfill, but county officials are “interested in evaluating” some of the “more than 70 old landfills” for future solar arrays, according to the article. Columbus-based IGS Solar developed the array, and Cleveland Public Power is buying all of the output on behalf of Cuyahoga County. The county expects the solar farm “to shave about $3 million from its power bills over the next 25 years . . . because its pricing will remain unchanged.” Mike Foley, the county’s sustainability director, said the array is “one step toward controlling the county’s future energy costs while at the same time supporting renewable energy.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates
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