Senate bill proposes federal standard for U.S. renewable electricity generation

The recently introduced Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) Act of 2019 would put the United States “on a trajectory to decarbonize the power sector by 2050,” nawindpower.com reports. The Senate bill “is proposing a target of at least 50% renewable electricity nationwide” by 2035, by requiring electricity providers to increase their supply of renewable energy “by a percentage of total retail sales each year, starting in 2020,” according to the article. Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said the RES would “drive investment in our nation’s power generation infrastructure, improve affordability and reliability for our customers, and accelerate the ongoing transition to America’s renewable energy economy.” For more, read the full article.

Federal Updates, Renewable Energy

New dates set for Seneca Wind Farm hearings

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) has rescheduled the local public hearing for Seneca Wind LLC’s Seneca Wind Farm (see our April 24, 2019 blog post) for July 23, 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Tiffin University, The Advertiser-Tribune reports. The hearing “is to provide an opportunity for local people interested in the project area, who are not parties to the case, to provide testimony regarding the proposed facility,” according to the article. An adjudicatory hearing, at which Seneca Wind, OPSB staff and parties to the case may present evidence regarding the project, will take place August 26 at 10:00 a.m. at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus. If approved, the wind farm “would be constructed on about 57,000 acres of leased private land in Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden and Bloom townships,” with up to 77 turbines and a total generating capacity of up to 212 megawatts. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Warren County park solar project also combats pollinator habitat loss

A solar array that has been providing most of the electric power for Warren County’s 311-acre Armco Park during the daytime “is also designed to combat the loss of habitat” for pollinators, the Journal-News reports. The 256-kilowatt array’s “bee and butterfly factor” is what “puts it over the top,” said Jim Yockey, the contractor financing the array, according to the article. Since March, the 745-panel solar system has “been providing 90 to 95 percent of the electric power for the park’s 18-hole golf course, softball complex, tennis and basketball courts, restrooms, concession stand and other facilities.” The project is “expected to reduce the park’s ‘carbon footprint,’ while fighting declines in species needed to pollinate ‘about one third of the world-wide food supply.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Work begins on $300M Scioto Ridge wind farm

Innogy, a German renewable energy company, has officially started work on a 250-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Hardin and Logan counties, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The $300-million Scioto Ridge wind farm “is expected to become operational before the end of 2020,” according to the article. With 75 wind turbines, the wind farm “will generate enough electricity for about 60,000 homes,” and will create approximately 150 construction jobs and 10 permanent jobs. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

DOE funding projects to develop next-gen wind turbine drivetrain technologies

Four projects that “will develop more efficient, smaller and lighter-weight generators” for wind turbines “to lower costs and make wind power more affordable” will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), nawindpower.com reports. The DOE has “selected four projects totaling up to $8 million to develop next-generation wind turbine drivetrain technologies for onshore and offshore applications,” according to the article. Two projects, by ABB Inc. of Raleigh, NC, and WEG Energy Corp. of Duluth, GA, “are developing direct-drive permanent-magnet designs.” The other two, by American Superconductor Corp. of Ayer, MA, and GE Research of Niskayuna, NY, “will develop superconducting generators.” The DOE will select one project “to receive up to $6.4 million to build and test a scaled prototype of the generator on a wind turbine.” For more, read the full article.

Federal Updates, Project Finance, Renewable Energy

Coal “no longer dominant source” of electricity in Ohio

As coal competes with cheap, abundant natural gas for power generation in Ohio, it has “gone from powering 87 percent of the state’s homes, stores, offices and factories to 47 percent” in “just a dozen years,” according to a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch. Natural gas “generated 34 percent of the state’s power last year,” an increase of 10 percentage points in one year, the article reports. Columbus-based American Electric Power, one of the largest power companies in the United States, “has slashed its carbon dioxide emissions 59 percent since 2000 with a goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050 as the company moves away from coal to natural gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar.” Natural gas has surpassed coal nationally as the top source of power, at 35.1 percent compared to coal’s 27.4 percent. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

First quarter of 2019 propels U.S. wind power construction to record level

U.S. project developers announced new wind farms with a total capacity of 6,146 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2019, propelling “the total volume of U.S. wind power construction and development activity to a record level,” nawindpower.com reports. The article cites American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)’s newly released “U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2019 Market Report,” which shows this additional capacity brings the United States to “a new record of 39,161 MW” in development. Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, “America’s largest source of renewable energy generating capacity is on a path to grow by 40 percent in the near term. In doing so, we’ll create thousands of additional American jobs and new economic opportunities for factory towns and rural communities across the country.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Renewable Energy

Columbus Business First unpacks Bricker’s Energy Exchange event, EV charging station

Spotlighting the future state of electric vehicles both in Central Ohio and statewide, Columbus Business First summarized the recent discussion that took place at Bricker & Eckler’s May 9, 2019, "Energy Exchange" event. The event, hosted by the firm’s energy attorneys for industry professionals, focused this time around on electric vehicles and their potential to propel Ohio as a nationwide leader in advanced and renewable technology.

How electric vehicles could change Ohio’s power grid” illustrates that electric vehicle adoption and usage is on the rise in Ohio. A few catalysts to this increase include the availability of convenient charging stations, funding incentives for both vehicles and charging stations and decreasing costs of the technology. Locally, enhancing the appeal of “going electric” has been a collaborative effort. Participating in a panel discussion at the event were representatives from the Ohio House of Representatives, Smart Columbus and ChargePoint, all of whom described the importance of both public and private investment to continue development in this area.

At the conclusion of the event, Bricker tangibly demonstrated its commitment to supporting the growth of electric vehicles in downtown Columbus, announcing that the firm will install an electric vehicle charging station on its property this summer. Bricker is the first Ohio law firm to do so and hopes this endeavor will encourage other businesses to join the effort to advance this technology for local citizens.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

Bricker & Eckler becomes first Ohio law firm with EV charging station

Bricker & Eckler is the first law firm in the state to install an electric vehicle charging station on its property. The firm’s EV charging station, deployed by ChargePoint, will be located among several parking spaces at the rear of the building. Employees, as well as client guests, will be permitted to use the station during business hours. Outside of regular business hours and on weekends, the station will be available for public use. The installation of Bricker & Eckler’s EV charging station is scheduled for Summer 2019 and will be operational shortly after. Read more >>

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

Historic Dayton Arcade revitalization project is underway

With this week’s financial closings, the historic Dayton Arcade revitalization project is underway. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, Renewable Energy
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