Champaign County wind farm project granted extension

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently granted an extension to “two phases of a proposed wind farm in Champaign County,” giving the developers until May 2019 to begin construction, the Journal-News reports. The OPSB sided with the developer, Everpower Wind Holdings, “who argued the extensions were needed because years of litigation by opponents had delayed the project,” according to the article. The board’s decision extends the certificate for two proposed phases of the project, Buckeye Wind and Champaign Wind, which would install about 50 wind turbines across sections of the county. The OPSB ruled against a group of residents opposed to the project, stating they had “long ago missed a deadline to have a say in the process and instead relied on a separate group of opponents,” Union Neighbors United (UNU), to protect their interests. UNU reached a settlement with the developers last year. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

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 House bill takes another swing at renewable energy mandates

A revised version of Ohio House Bill 114 (HB 114) would require utilities to “find more of their power from renewable sources like solar and wind,” but lower the mandated amounts from the original standards created in 2008, The Toledo Blade reports. HB 114’s new final mandate calls for 8.5 percent renewable power by 2022 instead of 12.5 percent by 2027, while also requiring utilities to “reduce electricity use by 17.2 percent, down from 22.2 percent, by 2027.” Additionally, the bill proposes changing wind turbine setback requirements to 1,125 feet from the nearest habitable residence for wind farms generating at least 5 megawatts of power. Current regulations require a setback of 1,125 feet from the nearest property line. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Couple ties the knot at One Energy wind campus in Findlay, Ohio

On June 2, 2018, One Energy technical manager Erin Kashawlic and her soon-to-be husband held their marriage ceremony at the One Energy North Findlay Wind Campus that she helped develop and construct. According to North American Wind Power, the wedding offered turbine tours and yard games for guests, as well as oversized pinwheel decorations. Kashawlic and groom Chris Roekle chose the site so their guests could see their home city and wind energy from a different angle. “Erin and Chris exchanging vows just a couple hundred feet from the spinning turbines, surrounded by family and friends, was a perfect backdrop to a beautiful day,” said Angela DeBoskey, head of storytelling for One Energy.

Miscellaneous, Renewable Energy

Growing solar company expanding to central Ohio

A solar energy and roofing company listed as one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing private companies wants to extend that growth into Central Ohio, Columbus Business First reports. Power Home Solar and Roofing, based in North Carolina, plans to hire 65-70 people for its new Worthington office. The company designs, sells, finances, installs and services home solar panels, as well as working in commercial, utility and government real estate, according to the article. Jayson Waller, a co-founder of Power Home Solar, said the company’s mission is to help consumers save money and “gain energy independence over the rising costs of power by harnessing the sun’s natural energy to create a cleaner environment for future generations.” For more, read the full article.  

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Athens residents vote for SOPEC carbon fee

A first-of-its-kind proposed 0.2-cent carbon fee for Athens city electrical customers (see our January 26, 2018 blog post) passed with 76.34 percent of the vote in the May election, The Athens News reports. The new carbon fee “will only apply to customers enrolled in the SOPEC [Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council] Opt-Out Electric Aggregation Program,” and will cost the average household using 800-900 kilowatt hours of electricity between $1.60 and $1.80 each month, according to the article. SOPEC Executive Director Eddie Smith said he is “extremely thrilled that we are going to be the first municipality in the entire United States that has figured out the carbon price program.” The carbon fee will help fund a community solar program; SOPEC will work with the Athens City Council and Mayor’s office to plan hearings to determine the rules for that program. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy

PUCO approves AEP plan to expand renewables, EV charging stations

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently approved AEP Ohio’s Electric Security Plan (ESP) that will allow the company to “expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging and renewable generation,” nawindpower.com reports. AEP Ohio had previously committed to developing an additional 900 megawatts of renewable power generation in the state; the ESP “provides a method for AEP Ohio to request approval from the PUCO for the development of new renewable resources.” Additionally, a “program to expand EV charging station availability will be created as part of the Smart Columbus initiative.” Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, said the plan allows the company “to bring these services, which also will support economic development in Ohio, to customers across the state.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

Renewable Hudson shining the light on solar for community

Cleveland-based solar installation company YellowLite joined with Renewable Hudson, an organization that promotes renewable energy in the city of Hudson, for a talk last month aimed to help community members better understand solar energy, MyTownNEO reports. The talk covered “how solar energy works,” why Ohio is in fact a good state for solar power, and how Hudson has already been supporting solar energy. Renewable Hudson conducted another talk recently at the Hudson Library, and YellowLite “frequently travels around the state to educate people on solar technology,” according to the article. Azam Kazmi, president of YellowLite, called Hudson “one of the strongest communities in Ohio for solar,” saying the city has a reputation for being progressive and business-friendly. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy

Ohio State Energy Partners focused on carbon neutrality by 2050

Serdar Tufekci, CEO of Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP), said his company is focused on long-term sustainability goals, and won’t compromise those goals for greater profit, The Lantern reports. The public-private partnership with The Ohio State University (OSU) has various sustainability goals, such as cutting emissions by 25 percent over the course of the next decade and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. OSEP plans to decrease OSU’s reliance on its current energy grid, which is owned by American Electric Power and draws energy from coal, natural gas and renewable power generation. OSEP plans to employ a microgrid to gain “more control over what sources of energy are being used” and invest in clean energy, including rooftop solar panels, on campus. Tufekci said OSEP is focused on a long-term vision, and that the company doesn’t “come up with projects that don’t solve the 2050 target,” even if the financial return would be “fantastic.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy

AEP Ohio awards OU $250k to research solar’s economic benefits

AEP Ohio has awarded $250,000 in grants to Ohio University to conduct research on the economic benefits of renewable energy initiatives in southeastern Ohio, The Athens News reports. The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at the university, which has a long-established relationship with AEP Ohio and the AEP Foundation, will conduct the research project. The study will focus on three main areas: “economic and workforce impacts of currently planned solar installations in Ohio, approaches to additional utility and non-utility solar deployment, and the grid reliability benefits of increasing solar energy penetration,” according to the article. The team will also look at the potential results of “future policy and program changes.” Gilbert Michaud, principal investigator on the project, said, “the increase in tax revenues and job creation associated with increased solar deployment will help create a more stable economy for the region.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates
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