Posts Authored by Dylan F. Borchers

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

Twinsburg plans to install EV charging stations with NOPEC grant money

Electric vehicle (EV) owners in the Twinsburg area may soon have more options to charge away from home, as the city plans to install one or more EV charging stations, MyTownNEO reports. Mayor Ted Yates said at a recent City Council meeting “the city’s $42,000 energized community grant from the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council [NOPEC] will likely be used to create at least one station,” according to the article. Yates said “if the price is right” the city may consider multiple charging station locations, with installation complete by August or September. The primary goal of energized community grants “is to help communities implement energy savings or energy infrastructure measures.” Twinsburg has used previous grants to improve lighting in city buildings. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Project Finance, State Updates

Ohio legislature considering study of electric vehicle infrastructure issues

While purchases of electric vehicles (EV) rose from 1,630 in 2016 to 4,456 in 2018, a lack of charging infrastructure may be inhibiting EV market growth, a subject the Ohio legislature may soon explore. Ohio House Bill 202 “would create a 13-member Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Study Committee to explore issues related to electric vehicle infrastructure,” according to the article. Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio, said, “[o]ne of the most common reasons that consumers hesitate in buying electric vehicles right now is the lack of public charging infrastructure. . . .we face a classic ‘chicken vs. the egg’ situation in which consumers cite a lack of electric vehicle charging as a barrier, yet the private sector on its own can’t invest in this needed charging infrastructure due to the lack of an available market in the form of electric vehicles.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, 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

Ohio ranked third in 12-state Midwest region for clean energy jobs

Analysis by the Clean Energy Trust and nonpartisan Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows “more than 112,000 Ohioans work in clean energy industries,” with 4,975 jobs added in the last year, according to a recent article in The Daily Reporter. Clean energy jobs now “make up 2.1 percent of all jobs in Ohio” according to Clean Jobs Midwest, the article reports. Energy efficiency led all clean energy sectors in the state, “employing 81,676 workers — accounting for seven in 10 of all clean energy workers.” Micaela Preskill, E2 Midwest states advocate, said the 2019 U.S. Energy & Employment Report “clearly proves that clean energy in the Midwest is not just a trend, it is driving economic growth and opportunities across the region.” For more, read the full article (subscription required), or click here for the report.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

Airstream adding 100-percent renewable-powered facility

A $40-million expansion of Airstream’s Jackson Center operations will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, the Dayton Daily News reports. The company’s “entire Jackson Center campus,” including the new 750,000-square-foot facility, will be powered by renewable energy credits, according to the article. Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO, said, “[o]ur work at Airstream is inextricably linked to the outdoors, so we are continuously exploring ways to do more with less. Powering our operations through renewable energy credits purchased here in Ohio is a net win for our community and our customers.” Last year, the travel trailer manufacturer “offset 4,220 metric tons of CO2 by using renewable energy certificates,” the equivalent of emissions produced by more than 10 million miles of driving for the average vehicle. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

AEP Ohio installing 96,000 smart meters in Canton area

AEP Ohio is replacing more than 96,000 analog electric meters in the Canton area with “smart meters,” which provide real-time meter readings, eliminate estimated bills and alert AEP of power outages more quickly, CantonRep.com reports. AEP spokesperson Jessica Wright said the smart meters provide “secure transfer of a customer’s usage information for billing and operational purposes” and eliminate the need for utility workers to visit customers’ properties to read the meter, according to the article. AEP “joined the Green Button initiative, an industry and federal government effort to make energy use information more accessible to customers.” For more, read the full article

Miscellaneous, State Updates

Ohio ranks in top 10 states for clean energy jobs

A new report from nonpartisan business group E2 shows nearly 113,000 people “are employed in Ohio’s clean energy sector,” ranking the state eighth in the country “for the number of people employed in the clean energy sector,” Cleveland Scene reports. That number reflects a 4.6-percent increase in the past year, higher than the national growth rate of 3.6 percent. E2 Executive Director Robert Keefe “says the biggest story is the 16 percent growth in clean vehicle manufacturing . . . spurred by growing consumer adoption of electric vehicle technology, state expansion of charging infrastructure, and falling battery prices.” Clean car employment increased by 9 percent, or approximately 1,300 new jobs. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates
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