Posts Authored by E. Nicki Hewell

EmberClear investing nearly $1B in 1,050-MW Harrison combined-cycle plant

A new natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Harrison Industrial Park will increase efficiency, create jobs, and generate millions in payments to local governments and schools, the Herald-Star reports. Texas-based energy development company EmberClear “is investing nearly $1 billion in construction” for the 1,050-megawatt power plant in the Harrison Industrial Park. The plant, which will create 700 construction jobs and more than 20 permanent positions, “will be designed to meet the growing industrial demands fueled by the local natural gas economy and replace older, less efficient plants,” according to the article. EmberClear will receive a 15-year property tax exemption as part of a P.I.L.O.T (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement; in exchange, the developer will pay $31 million to Harrison County, the Harrison Hills City School District, and local villages and townships. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives

Athens Water Treatment Plant installs solar panels to reduce energy usage

New solar panels are being installed as part of a capital improvement project at the Athens Water Treatment Plant, the city’s second-largest electricity user, The Athens News reports. Third Sun Solar, an Athens-based company, is installing the panels, which “are expected to generate 178.5 kilowatts of energy,” or approximately “50 percent of the plant’s electrical needs,” according to the article. City Director of Engineering and Public Works Bob Heady said the city is “working with the AEP Ohio Business Incentive Program to receive incentives” for reducing energy consumption. Athens received funding through the Ohio EPA’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account for the project, Heady said. For more, read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy

Ohio’s solar capacity increased by 2,600% in 10 years, report says

A new report by Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center shows the state’s renewable energy generation has grown exponentially since 2008, Columbus Free Press reports. Ohio “went from producing 1 Gigawatt [GWh] hour of solar energy and 15 GWh of wind energy in 2008, to now producing 260 GWh of solar energy and 1,563 GWh of wind energy,” according to the article. Nancy Goodes, Campaign Organizer for Environment Ohio, said the past decade “has seen explosive growth in the key technologies to power Ohio with clean, renewable energy. Ohio is poised to accelerate its shift away from fossil fuels.” The report’s authors called on both the state and federal government to strengthen clean power standards and “continue to allow Ohio to grow its renewable energy industry.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio’s first landfill-based solar farm nearly complete

Cuyahoga County’s 4-megawatt solar array on 17 acres of the City of Brooklyn’s former landfill is expected to begin generating power in test mode by the end of July, Cleveland.com reports. The array is the first one in Ohio to be built on a former landfill, but county officials are “interested in evaluating” some of the “more than 70 old landfills” for future solar arrays, according to the article. Columbus-based IGS Solar developed the array, and Cleveland Public Power is buying all of the output on behalf of Cuyahoga County. The county expects the solar farm “to shave about $3 million from its power bills over the next 25 years . . . because its pricing will remain unchanged.” Mike Foley, the county’s sustainability director, said the array is “one step toward controlling the county’s future energy costs while at the same time supporting renewable energy.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Battery storage could propel wind and solar to power half the world

Falling battery costs will have a “huge impact” on the world’s electricity mix in the coming decades, and “could help wind and solar rise to 50% of the world’s electricity generation by 2050,” nawindpower.com reports. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)’s annual “long-term analysis of the future of the global electricity system, New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2018,” predicts $11.5 trillion in new power generation capacity investments between 2018 and 2050, with $8.4 trillion in wind and solar power. Seb Henbest, lead author of NEO 2018, said, “[t]he arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy

NTE Energy’s $600M Middletown Energy Center largest development in city’s history

The recently opened Middletown Energy Center is not only Middletown’s biggest development project to date, but also “will be among the cleanest and most efficient natural gas fired power plants in the nation,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The 475-megawatt power plant “not only uses natural gas to create energy, but also uses heat created by the power-generation process” to drive a steam turbine to produce additional power, according to the article. City officials said NTE’s investment in the facility is “almost twice the size of the approximately $350 million Liberty Center that opened October 2016 in Liberty Twp.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Environmental

Ohio House bill takes another swing at renewable energy mandates

A revised version of Ohio House Bill 114 (HB 114) would require utilities to “find more of their power from renewable sources like solar and wind,” but lower the mandated amounts from the original standards created in 2008, The Toledo Blade reports. HB 114’s new final mandate calls for 8.5 percent renewable power by 2022 instead of 12.5 percent by 2027, while also requiring utilities to “reduce electricity use by 17.2 percent, down from 22.2 percent, by 2027.” Additionally, the bill proposes changing wind turbine setback requirements to 1,125 feet from the nearest habitable residence for wind farms generating at least 5 megawatts of power. Current regulations require a setback of 1,125 feet from the nearest property line. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Growing solar company expanding to central Ohio

A solar energy and roofing company listed as one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing private companies wants to extend that growth into Central Ohio, Columbus Business First reports. Power Home Solar and Roofing, based in North Carolina, plans to hire 65-70 people for its new Worthington office. The company designs, sells, finances, installs and services home solar panels, as well as working in commercial, utility and government real estate, according to the article. Jayson Waller, a co-founder of Power Home Solar, said the company’s mission is to help consumers save money and “gain energy independence over the rising costs of power by harnessing the sun’s natural energy to create a cleaner environment for future generations.” For more, read the full article.  

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio State Energy Partners focused on carbon neutrality by 2050

Serdar Tufekci, CEO of Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP), said his company is focused on long-term sustainability goals, and won’t compromise those goals for greater profit, The Lantern reports. The public-private partnership with The Ohio State University (OSU) has various sustainability goals, such as cutting emissions by 25 percent over the course of the next decade and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. OSEP plans to decrease OSU’s reliance on its current energy grid, which is owned by American Electric Power and draws energy from coal, natural gas and renewable power generation. OSEP plans to employ a microgrid to gain “more control over what sources of energy are being used” and invest in clean energy, including rooftop solar panels, on campus. Tufekci said OSEP is focused on a long-term vision, and that the company doesn’t “come up with projects that don’t solve the 2050 target,” even if the financial return would be “fantastic.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Several groups helping make Northeast Ohio greener

Businesses and nonprofits in Northeast Ohio are increasingly looking to reduce energy costs and lessen their environmental impact; environmentalists and other advocates say several organizations are helping make that happen, Cleveland.com reports. KeyBank’s Key4Green business segment is “a group of bankers who understand the (renewable energy) industry, and they help clients understand tax implications and the tax credits available,” the article reports. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation is in the permitting process to build six offshore wind turbines several miles off the Lake Erie coast (see our August 25, 2017 blog post). Rust Belt Riders “collect food waste that would normally go into the garbage and distribute it” to urban farmers and community gardeners to use as fertilizer, diverting the waste from landfills. The Cleveland 2030 District is a nonprofit that “helps building owners and property managers reduce their electricity use and lower CO2 emissions.” For more, read the full article.  

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Renewable Energy
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