Posts Authored by Dylan F. Borchers

SARTA offers free loan of fuel-cell bus to any transit authority in the U.

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and the manufacturers of its fuel-cell buses have launched a national promotion “to persuade other transit authorities to switch to hydrogen fuel cells,” Cleveland.com reports. SARTA “is offering to loan” one of its 13 fuel-cell buses free of charge “to any transit authority in the nation interested in seeing first-hand how the now commercially available technology works,” according to the article. Kirt Conrad, SARTA’s CEO, said, “[g]iving the people across the country the opportunity to see, learn about, and ride on a hydrogen-fuel cell bus is the best way to demonstrate this technology’s potential to totally transform the way vehicles are powered here and around the world.” SARTA’s fuel cell buses have electric motors powered by on-board fuel cells that use oxygen from the air and stored hydrogen to generate power, emitting only water. For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Vinton Solar Energy LLC gets approval for 125-MW solar farm

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently authorized Vinton Solar Energy LLC to construct the 125-megawatt Vinton Solar Facility in Vinton County, farmanddairy.com reports. The solar farm will be “located on approximately 1,950 acres of pasture land near McArthur, Ohio,” and “will transmit generated electricity to the power grid,” according to the article. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

State certifies Seneca Wind as qualified energy project

The State of Ohio has certified the Seneca Wind project “as a qualified energy project, establishing a fixed payment in lieu of taxes” throughout its operational life, The Adviser-Tribune reports. Seneca Wind will “consist of up to 85 wind turbines on about 25,000 acres” in Scipio, Reed, Eden, Venice and Bloom townships, “providing energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year,” according to the article. The project’s proposed 212 megawatts of capacity over the expected 30-year lifespan of the project “would result in $56 million of revenue” from developer and owner sPower, “to be divided among schools, townships and Seneca County.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio kicks off interconnection rulemaking: Implications for distributed generation

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently opened a docket to review Ohio Adm. Code Chapter 4901:1-22, which contains the rules for interconnecting distributed generation to the electric distribution system. The PUCO’s review of the interconnection rules comes shortly after the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) released updates and revisions to the IEEE 1547 standard regarding the requirements for interconnecting distributed energy resources (DERs) with the electric distribution system. It also comes shortly after the PUCO’s release of “PowerForward: A Roadmap to Ohio’s Electricity Future,” which sets forth certain policy positions and outlines principles and objectives for Ohio’s grid modernization efforts. 

On September 11, 2018, the PUCO held a stakeholder workshop to solicit feedback on potential revisions to the rules. For more, read the full publication.

Energy Efficiency, State Updates

Athens-based company named top solar provider in Ohio

Leading solar provider Third Sun Solar, based in Athens, Ohio, was ranked first in Ohio solar providers by Solar Power World’s 2018 Top 500 Solar Contractor’s List, The Athens News reports. Nationwide, Third Sun Solar was ranked 28th “among firms offering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to commercial clients,” according to the article. Solar Power World developed the annual list “to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States.” Rankings for the list were determined “by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2017 in the United States only.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohioans saved more than $40B on energy over 10-year period, report says

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) says new technologies and increased production significantly reduced the price of natural gas and saved Ohio energy consumers $40.2 billion between 2006 and 2016, the News and Sentinel reports. CEA released a report, “The Benefits of Ohio’s Natural Gas Production to Energy Consumers and Job Creators,” that shows residential users “saved almost $15 billion, while commercial and industrial users saved upwards of $25.3 billion,” the article reports. The report shows that “[p]rior to the shale revolution, prices for natural gas in Ohio peaked at $10.66” but have “steadily decreased to just under $4.” Additionally, “[m]ore than 700 new businesses have been established statewide to support the shale industry, bringing in over $63.9 billion in new investments.” For more, read the full article.

State Updates

PACE legislation could be first of many for Solon

Solon City Council recently gave a first reading to legislation that would allow Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve to take advantage of low-interest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for roof replacement, Cleveland.com reports. The company “is seeking $103,000 in financing to repair or replace 20,000 square feet of roof on its facility, including insulation and lighting for better energy efficiency,” according to the article. In order to do that, the company must petition the city to place an assessment on its property. Coucilman Bob Pelunis said the city needs to make sure “we’re getting the word out” so other companies are aware of the opportunity for PACE financing, noting “there could be a lot of individual legislation coming before council in the future” from companies who want to take advantage of the program. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

U.S. DOE offers up to $6M in funding for wind R&D

The Wind Energy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) “aimed at catalyzing technical and operational solutions to reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts” of wind turbines, nawindpower.com reports. The “Advanced Wind R&D to Reduce Costs and Environmental Impacts” FOA will provide up to $6 million in funding, according to the article. The FOA will provide $2 million each to three research areas: reducing costs and environmental impacts of bat curtailment at wind plants, developing “advanced components and other instrumentation for advanced bat-deterrent technologies,” and developing “offshore wind instrumentation for environmental monitoring and mitigation.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Federal Updates, Project Finance, Renewable Energy

Wind and solar make big jumps in annual PJM capacity auction

PJM Interconnection’s annual capacity auction, which “procures power supply resources to meet electricity needs for three years from now,” saw big increases in wind and solar resources, nawindpower.com reports. PJM “procured 163,627 megawatts [MW] of resources for the period of June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022,” according to the article. Solar increased over last year’s auction “more than fourfold, with around 570 MW clearing,” while 1,417 MW of wind cleared, an increase over last year of 529 MW. Additionally, the auction cleared “1,000 MW more gas-fired generation than last year,” including “one new combined cycle plant.” Energy efficiency was also up about 1,100 MW, with 3,832 MW clearing. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

NOPEC offering USDA low-interest loans for small business energy upgrades

Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is the first organization in Ohio to offer new U.S. Department of Agriculture low-interest loans designed to “help small businesses lower their energy consumption and costs through energy-efficient upgrades,” The Morning Journal reports. Owners of commercial property within a NOPEC member community are eligible to apply for financing for projects ranging from $5,000 to $100,000; the program is open to “private sector office, retail and industrial and public-sector facilities — such as government, health care, education” and apartment buildings with more than four units. Energy upgrades that qualify include HVAC, interior and exterior lighting, insulation, windows and doors, and other renewable energy projects such as solar water heating systems. For larger projects, NOPEC offers financing up to $500,000 through its Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates
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