With $30M investment, Cuyahoga County could double solar power generation in five years

A $13-million “green bank” could allow Cuyahoga County to “double the amount of solar power generated” in five years, according to a study partly financed by the county government, Cleveland.com reports. That $13-million investment fund would allow developers to “borrow up to $17 million from conventional lenders and enable them to install solar panels on small businesses” and then sell the generated electricity to the businesses at fixed rates, according to the article. The study reports “smaller-scale solar developers struggle to finance such projects in the county because of tight profit margins and solar energy being more expensive than energy generated by coal and natural gas.” For more, read the full article

Project Finance, Renewable Energy, State Updates

University of Toledo joins group promoting emerging solar technology

The University of Toledo (UT) recently announced “it has become a founding member of a national group which strives to promote development of the emerging perovskite solar cell technology,” The Toledo Blade reports. The organization, the U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium (US-MAP), “is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory” in Colorado, the article reports. Perovskites “are compound materials with a special crystal structure formed through chemistry”; U.S. Rep Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), said technology using perovskites “will move our country and region forward in solar energy development.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Cleveland Heights going greener with more solar panels on city buildings

Cleveland Heights city officials “plan to go greener in the coming months,” adding rooftop solar installations to three more city buildings, Cleveland.com reports. City Council is expected to authorize a 30-year contract with Enerlogics Solar LLC to add solar panels to City Hall, the Community Center and the Service Department garage, according to the article. The city will piggyback “on a Cuyahoga County Aggregated Solar Project administered through the county’s Cooperative Purchasing Program” and pay no setup cost for the generation and distribution systems. Cleveland Heights Capital Projects Manager Joe Kickel said the electricity “will be consumed exclusively at each respective facility,” increasing the city’s usage of “green energy.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

2019 was second-biggest year for new installed wind power

Installations totaling 60.4 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity wind power worldwide made 2019 the second-biggest year on record for wind power, nawindpower.com reports. The article cites a recently released report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) that showed year-over-year growth of 19% and a total global capacity for wind energy over 651 GW, “an increase of 10% compared to 2018.” Market-based mechanisms were the main driver of growth, “with auctioned wind capacity in 2019 surpassing 40 GW worldwide, accounting for two-thirds of total new capacity and doubling auctioned capacity” compared to the previous year. The report forecasts continued growth, with “over 355 GW of wind energy capacity potentially added over the next five years.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Cincinnati firm awarded $6M in state financing for nursing facility construction

The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority approved Blue Ash-based Clermont Health Realty for up to $6 million in bond financing for construction of a skilled nursing facility, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Clermont Health Realty “plans to build a 113-bed skilled nursing facility” that “will include LED lighting, energy efficient windows, a white reflective roof, a variable refrigerant flow HVAC system,” solar panels and other energy-saving features. The facility, which will include rehabilitation and assisted living spaces, will have 150 full-time positions. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Farmers find income boost in wind power crop

As farmers and ranchers contend with trade wars, bad weather seasons and the unstable prices of crops and livestock, some of them “have found a new crop to sell — wind,” Aberdeen News reports, as quoted in a recent nawindpower.com article. Wind turbine leases “give landowners a yearly boost to income that, although not a full salary, helps them make up for uncertainties” created by elements beyond their control, according to the article. Aberdeen News “writes that for Tom Cunningham, who’s been farming on Kansas land for close to 40 years, the income from wind turbines has made a tremendous difference.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy

GM bringing innovative processes to planned battery-cell plant

General Motors “is looking for 100 percent renewable energy” in its planned $2.3-billion Lordstown battery-cell plant, and will implement innovative processes in line with the company’s “sustainability strategy and all-electric future,” The Vindicator reports. More than half of the plant’s main 2.5-million-square-foot building will be “considered a ‘clean room’ with low humidity to assemble the cells,” according to the article. Plant manager Tom Gallagher said plans include “a green infrastructure that includes how we construct the building all the way through how it’s operated to be really the lowest number of resources used to operate the facility. . . . how we are going to capture and reuse will be in line from how we produce the cell all the way through its production, and any kind of byproducts will be retained and recycled and reused where they can be.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Construction begins on 200-MW solar facility in southeast Ohio

The Hillcrest solar facility, “a massive solar voltaic project,” one of the largest of its kind in Ohio, has begun construction, Columbus Business First reports. Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. is building the facility approximately 40 mile east of Cincinnati on about 1,350 acres of land, according to the article. The project “is expected to create about 300 construction jobs in the next 10 months and should contribute about $69 million to the local economy in wages.” Property taxes the project generates “are projected to contribute more than $60 million to Brown County, Western Brown School District and Green Township” over its lifespan. Hillcrest is expected to generate more than 416,000 megawatts annually, enough to power 39,000 households. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Cleveland startup awarded $1M federal grant for new solar racking system

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a $1-million Small Business Innovation Research grant to Cleveland-based Acme Express for a new solar racking system that “will change the way solar panels are installed throughout the industry,” TechStartups reports. The “single component Roll-A-Rack,” in which roll-form machines produce custom solar racking on demand, “is significantly simpler than today’s multicomponent racking systems,” according to the article. The grant will fund research and further testing of Roll-A-Rack, including efficiency refinements. Don Scipione, president of Acme Express, said Roll-A-Rack will make solar energy “far more accessible and affordable.” The system is expected to be commercially available by the end of 2020. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

OSU Extension specialists explain solar farm leasing for landowners

What do farm landowners need to understand about the solar leasing process? As solar energy companies have “approached several landowners in Madison County” in recent months, asking to lease their land, Ohio State University Extension is hoping to help answer that question, Columbus Messenger reports. Lower solar construction costs and a change in solar energy policy is prompting investors to rush to get projects started; two solar farm projects in Madison County are currently in the pre-application process with the State of Ohio, according to the article. OSU Extension specialists recently hosted “Solar Leasing 101,” a discussion about the process of leasing land for solar projects and the resources available to landowners. For more information, landowners can visit farmoffice.osu.edu and read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, State Updates
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