O’Shaughnessy Dam hydro plant to generate power for Columbus again

An aging Central Ohio hydropower unit is expected to be operational again by mid-2023, after Columbus City Council recently approved $15.3 million in bond money for repairs to the plant at O’Shaughnessy Dam, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The dam’s hydro-generators “began producing power in 1987 under a federal program to reduce reliance on foreign oil” but were shut down in 1987 due to disrepair, according to the article. The generators will be removed, cleaned, inspected and refurbished as needed, while control panels and switches “will be upgraded to state-of-the-art technology.” The 5-megawatt plant could “potentially power thousands of homes.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Green Energy Fund receives $3.55M to help residents lower utility bills, build wealth

The George Gund Foundation recently announced its contributions totaling $3.55 million in grants and seed funding to Growth Opportunity Partners (Growth Opps) for its GO Green Energy Fund, News 5 Cleveland reports. The fund will “help create solar infrastructure for residents and business across the region,” according to the article. Growth Opps plans to build a solar array in Hough and allow residents to enroll in a program to offset their utility bills; residents will also be able to buy shares in the operation, “giving them a financial stake in its success and equity they can borrow against or sell for cash.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

AES Corp. and AIMCo deal creates leading renewable platform in U.S.

An agreement between the AES Corporation and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) “to merge the sPower development platform, a leading independent solar developer in the US, with AES’ US-based clean energy development business” will create one of the top renewables growth platforms in the country, PR Newswire reports. Andres Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer, said the merger “will benefit customers by providing access to a broader portfolio of product offerings as well as an expanded highly skilled and experienced team to drive innovation at scale,” according to the article. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy

Toledo Solar wins $1.7M federal grant for new solar technology development

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office awarded a $1.7 million grant to Toledo Solar to support its development of semitransparent cadmium telluride photovoltaics, “a solar-cell material that could be suitable for use in windows, building facades, and rooftop solar modules,” The Toledo Blade reports. U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) recently announced the grant. In her statement, Kaptur said the new solar technology “offers potential for boosting solar production within the United States,” according to the article. The majority of silicon-based solar panels, “the predominant current technology for large-scale uses,” is produced in Asia. For more, read the full article.  

Renewable Energy, Solar, State Updates

New Franklin County solar farm will supply energy to AEP

American Electric Power affiliate AEP Energy Partners “is finalizing a long-term power purchase agreement [PPA] with New York-based BQ Energy Development LLC for 100% of the 50 megawatts of power that will be generated at the new solar farm it is building at the former Model Landfill site,” Columbus Business First reports. The solar farm will generate enough energy to power 5,000 homes, which AEP Energy will use to meet “both customer demand for renewable energy and future renewable energy needs” from Columbus’s recently passed citywide electric aggregation program proposal, according to the article. Greg Hall, president of AEP Energy, called converting the former landfill to a solar facility a “win-win for the environment and Central Ohio.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar, State Updates

Hillsboro farm goes solar with 60-panel rooftop installation

The Rhoads family farm east of Hillsboro is harvesting sunlight to power farm operations, including two houses and a barn, through 60 rooftop solar panels installed on the barn, The Highland County Press reports. Rich Rhoads said the family worked with a company that finances the system for 20 years and also help clients increase energy efficiency through attic insulation, attic solar fans, water-heater insulation and LED light bulbs, according to the article. Rhoads “also pointed out that the federal government offers a tax credit for homeowners switching to solar energy, to help offset some of the costs.” Rhoads said the family believes helping the environment and potentially saving money in the long term is a “win-win.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, Solar

AEP signs PPA for planned 200-MW Pickaway County solar project

A planned 600,000 solar panel project that will generate 200 megawatts (MW) of output in Pickaway County when complete has a signed long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) from AEP Energy Partners, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, MarketWatch reports. Atlanta Farms Solar Project will contribute renewable energy to the City of Columbus’s aggregation program that was approved on the November 2020 ballot, according to the article. Greg Hall, AEP Energy president, said, “AEP Energy is focused on providing customers with integrated, carbon-free energy supplies that deliver long-term price stability and environmental benefits.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, State Updates

Mpower Energy expands to Ohio with Columbus facility

Boutique renewable energy provider Mpower Energy recently announced its expansion into Ohio with the opening of an Mpower Direct location in Columbus, Business Insider reports. The company, which offers a flat rate “for supplying energy from renewable energy sources,” is hiring 50 local team members, according to the article. Mpower Direct CEO Lavie Popack said, “Mpower’s expansion into the state broadens the availability of renewable energy services for business and homeowners as the state works towards new renewable energy standards in 2026.” While renewable energy resources “made up only 3%” of in-state generation in 2019, Ohio’s “renewable energy portfolio standards require 8.5% by 2026.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

US corporate demand will drive up to 72 GW in new renewable projects over next 10 years

Corporate-driven power purchase agreements (PPAs) “could represent 20% of all utility scale renewable power additions” in the United States from 2021 to 2030, according to a recent IHS Markit report, Utility Dive reports. The report concludes corporate-driven PPAs “could drive development of 4.4 GW to 7.2 GW annually,” according to the article. More than 200 companies in the U.S. are procuring renewable energy or plan to do so, and “about 40% of these companies have targets that escalate through the early to mid-2020s.” For more, read the full article.

Federal Updates, Renewable Energy

Columbus green-energy aggregation plan on November ballot

City of Columbus residents will vote on Issue 1, an “opt-out” green-energy electricity aggregation plan “that promises to supply 100% of the city’s power needs with renewable energy by 2023,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The plan’s details, including cost to residents, will be worked out after the November election, according to the article. AEP Energy “has agreed to spend $1 billion to provide 100% of the city’s power” through new Ohio renewable energy farms, instead of through green energy credits. City Council member Rob Dorans said the program will create hundreds of new jobs and allow the city “to use our collective bulk buying power to get a competitive electricity rate.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates
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