Posts Authored by Dylan F. Borchers

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

AEP funding OSU research on cyber-resilient power grids

Columbus-based American Electric Power has provided a $250,000 grant for Ohio State University (OSU) to research cyber-resilient power grids, Columbus Business First reports. OSU’s Electric Power Grid Research Group will conduct the research into making “electric power distribution networks safer from cyber attacks,” according to the article. Julie Sloat, president and COO of AEP Ohio, said in a statement, “[i]ncreased connectivity creates new entry points for potential attackers and poses new challenges for grid security, so we are thrilled we are able to provide this funding.” David Williams, dean of the OSU College of Engineering, said in the statement, “[e]lectric power generation and distribution are areas of great interest to all of us, not just now, but into the future. . . . The security of our electric power system goes right to the heart of our civilization.” For more, read the full article.

Miscellaneous

Couple ties the knot at One Energy wind campus in Findlay, Ohio

On June 2, 2018, One Energy technical manager Erin Kashawlic and her soon-to-be husband held their marriage ceremony at the One Energy North Findlay Wind Campus that she helped develop and construct. According to North American Wind Power, the wedding offered turbine tours and yard games for guests, as well as oversized pinwheel decorations. Kashawlic and groom Chris Roekle chose the site so their guests could see their home city and wind energy from a different angle. “Erin and Chris exchanging vows just a couple hundred feet from the spinning turbines, surrounded by family and friends, was a perfect backdrop to a beautiful day,” said Angela DeBoskey, head of storytelling for One Energy.

Miscellaneous, Renewable Energy

Power plant projects investing more than $4.6B in Mahoning Valley

Investment numbers for several new energy plants in the Mahoning Valley are “unlike any the region has witnessed in decades,” totaling more than $4.6 billion, The Business Journal reports. The abundance of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales “has emerged as the fulcrum” for the future of the energy industry, according to the article. Bill Siderewicz, president of Clean Energy Future LLC, said, “[w]hat’s happening in the industry right now is equivalent to the automobile replacing the horse and buggy,” as aging coal-fired and nuclear plants’ higher operating costs make it harder for them to compete with natural gas and combined-cycled plants. Clean Energy Future developed the Lordstown Energy Center and is working on a second Lordstown plant, both valued at about $890 million (see our October 13, 2017 blog post). Advanced Power “plans to invest $1.1 billion” in its South Field Energy plant in Columbiana County. Across Ohio, “11 new combined-cycle electrical generation plants worth an estimated $10.5 billion are either recently completed, under construction or in the planning or permit stages.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Athens residents vote for SOPEC carbon fee

A first-of-its-kind proposed 0.2-cent carbon fee for Athens city electrical customers (see our January 26, 2018 blog post) passed with 76.34 percent of the vote in the May election, The Athens News reports. The new carbon fee “will only apply to customers enrolled in the SOPEC [Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council] Opt-Out Electric Aggregation Program,” and will cost the average household using 800-900 kilowatt hours of electricity between $1.60 and $1.80 each month, according to the article. SOPEC Executive Director Eddie Smith said he is “extremely thrilled that we are going to be the first municipality in the entire United States that has figured out the carbon price program.” The carbon fee will help fund a community solar program; SOPEC will work with the Athens City Council and Mayor’s office to plan hearings to determine the rules for that program. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy
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