Pennsylvania joins Ohio, other states offering PACE financing

Congratulations to Ohio’s neighboring state Pennsylvania for joining a group of more than 30 states, including Ohio, that authorize Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs to help finance energy upgrades. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed legislation establishing the state’s PACE program, which enables funding for energy upgrades to be paid back through property assessments, according to a news release on the governor’s website. The legislation “represents a triple win,” creating new clean energy jobs, saving small businesses money on energy bills, and promoting cleaner air and water by increasing clean energy sources. For more, read the full release

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Project Finance, Renewable Energy

Ohio Communities Accelerator Fund closes $7.5M transaction for sports complex

The Warren County Port Authority (WCPA)’s newly created Ohio Communities Accelerator Fund (OCAF) recently closed on its “first bond fund transaction,” a $7.5-million transaction for the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Warren County Sport Complex at Union Village, according to a news release. The Complex, scheduled to open in 2019, “will welcome over 700,000 visitors and sports enthusiasts annually” to the county. Tourism is Warren County’s largest industry, with “over $2 billion in annual economic impact,” according to the release. 

The bonds were “privately placed at a fixed rate of 3.36%; Bricker & Eckler LLP served as Bond Counsel. OCAF is a lending program “designed to make capital available to public communities and private parties that seek to develop new or support existing capital assets.” 

Economic Development, Project Finance

City of Dayton agrees to loan $10M for Dayton Arcade revival

The Dayton City Commission has agreed to loan up to $10 million to the Dayton Arcade LLC to complete the funding for a project that will become “another major downtown destination,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The revitalization of the nine-building complex “would have the same kind of dramatic and far-reaching impact as the opening of Fifth Third Field in 2000 and the Schuster performing arts center three years later,” Dayton officials and local economic developers leaders said in the article. The arcade will create jobs, increase the tax base for the city, draw new investment, and provide “affordable housing for young creative types and professionals and high-demand urban amenities, including restaurants and other retail.” The loan is one of the city’s largest economic development investments “since the construction of the Schuster Center and the ballpark where the Dayton Dragons play.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Project Finance, State Updates

Solon City Council approves request to join ESID to allow PACE financing

Businesses in Solon will now be able to seek funding for energy efficiency improvements through Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, Cleveland.com reports. Solon City Council signed off on a request to join the Northeast Ohio Advanced Energy District, the closest Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), of which Solon neighbor Bedford Heights is a member. This means Solon meets the adjacency requirement to join, and First Suburbs Consortium would handle all applications for Solon businesses. City Economic Development Manager Peggy Weil Dorfman brought the request to join the ESID to City Council after a Solon company inquired about making $100,000 in building improvements that would qualify for PACE financing. Bricker & Eckler LLP provided information to the City Council about PACE financing and PACE projects in the region such as the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Akron PNC Center begins $8.5M PACE-financed energy efficiency project

The 23-story PNC Center in downtown Akron has begun work on an $8.5-million energy-efficiency improvement project funded through property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, the Akron Beacon-Journal reports. A 25,000-pound aging chiller and two boilers will be removed and replaced with more efficient heating and cooling systems. The project also includes new lighting and other energy-efficient upgrades. The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA) is issuing bonds to finance the project; those bonds will be repaid over 18 years at an average rate of about $477,000 annually. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

St. Clairsville, Caldwell prisons awarded $11M in OAQDA financing for energy upgrades

A proposed energy conservation project at two Ohio prisons will receive $11 million in financing from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) to help fund upgrades to reduce energy and water consumption, The Daily Jeff reports. Johnson Controls Inc., will use the OAQDA financing for the installation of lighting retrofits, enhanced energy management systems, and water conservation measures at the Belmont Correctional Institution in St. Clairsville and Noble Correctional Institution in Caldwell. The project is expected to “reduce utility bills, operations and maintenance at both facilities combined by $1,042,360.17 annually, or approximately 21 percent,” according to the article. The resulting carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions reduction will be equivalent to the amount produced by 1,137 cars on the road or 573 homes’ electricity usage. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Project Finance

Bricker involved in Cleveland-area solar farm development

As announced by Columbus Business First (subscription required), IGS Energy of Dublin, Ohio, will build a large solar farm on former landfill property near Cleveland. The solar farm will spread across 17 acres and will consist of over 35,000 panels – the largest in the state. Energy generated from the panels will be used by Cuyahoga County to “power about 5 percent of 16 county government buildings.” Bricker attorneys represented Cuyahoga County in the transaction, closing $10 million financing for the project. Likewise, the firm negotiated several related agreements, including a 30-year power purchase agreement. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2018. 

Project Finance, Renewable Energy

Groups work together to create and expand Akron Summit County ESID

The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA), along with Summit County and Akron, Barberton and Coventry Township, teamed up to create and expand the Akron Summit County Energy Special Improvement District (ESID), according to a recent DFA newsletter. The ESID enables property owners “to finance energy efficiency improvements” such as lighting, heating and air conditioning, new windows and roofing through a special property assessment, the article reports. Energy efficiency projects “can be financed in a number of ways,” including through a Northern Ohio Public Energy Consortium (NOPEC) revolving loan fund, “DFA Jobs & Investment Bond Fund and various private lenders.” Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said the plan is to continue working “to expand the ESID to all Summit County communities within the next year.” 

 

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

New Lima Energy Special Improvement District would help businesses fund energy upgrades

Several groups are working together to help Lima create an Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) so businesses can get help funding “utility and energy efficiency improvements,” The Lima News reports. Lima City Council “will vote on approving” the ESID recently created “under the lead of the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce,” according to the article. Chamber President and CEO Jed Metzger said, “[t]o do an energy improvement district, you have to have a lead organization . . . to do the energy audit” and to do the energy upgrades. The district “would work with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to secure funds for small businesses to improve such areas as lighting and heat as well as energy efficiency improvements, such as new windows or even roof work.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Financing for 100-MW Northwest Ohio Wind Project finalized

A $200-million project that will add “about 40 new wind turbines” in Paulding County will sell 100% of its energy output to General Motors, Paulding Progress reports. Starwood Energy Group Global LLC, “a leading private investment firm focused on energy infrastructure,” recently announced “it has finalized agreements to finance and construct the 100-megawatt (MW) Northwest Ohio Wind Project,” according to the article. An “affiliate of Citi has committed to provide tax equity for the project” which “is contracted to sell 100 percent of its output to General Motors pursuant to a long-term power purchase agreement.” Citi’s global head of alternative energy finance, Marshal Salant, said the “innovative partnership highlights Citi’s commitment to sustainable growth and to financing the development of clean renewable energy infrastructure.” For more, read the full article

Project Finance, Renewable Energy
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