Posts Authored by Zachary D. Eddy

NOPEC grants fund Painesville Township energy efficiency improvements

Energy improvements including new air conditioners, furnaces, ceiling insulation and LED lighting in Painesville Township administrative and departmental buildings might not have been possible without Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) grants, Township Administrator Michael Manary said in a recent News-Herald article. The township has received NOPEC grants, which “can be used strictly for energy improvements,” in 2018, 2019, and 2020, according to the article. Manary noted that two of Painesville’s three fire station were built in the 1960s and “have not had any significant investments in energy improvements” before the grant-funded projects; as a result of the improvements, utility bills have been decreasing over the past few years. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

Dairy farm begins production of renewable natural gas

Clover Hill Dairy in Wisconsin recently began producing renewable natural gas from the biogas “produced from the farm’s existing digester,” Northwest Signal reports. Nacelle Solutions partnered with U.S. Gain, a renewable natural gas developer and distributor, on the project. Nacelle’s technologies “have been designed to upgrade the biogas to renewable natural gas” which is then transported to an offsite injection point “where U.S. Gain will dispense it into the transportation market,” according to the article. Joe Bonlender of Clover Hill Dairy said the farm now has “an additional income stream as well as environmental benefits such as less noise pollution, cleaner air and less odor.”

Environmental, Renewable Energy

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, 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

Honda, GM joint venture could “add spark” to Lordstown battery plant

General Motors and Honda have pledged to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles with a propulsion system “based on GM’s new proprietary battery platform, the cells for which will be manufactured at the planned $2.3 billion plant in Lordstown [see our March 31, 2020 blog post],” The Vindicator reports. Honda “will design the interiors and exteriors of the new electric vehicles” while production “will be at GM plants in North America,” according to the article. GM and Honda “have an ongoing relationship around electrification” that includes “work on fuel cells and the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving and shared vehicle, that will contain a battery pack with Lordstown-made cells.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, 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 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

Investment in Ohio natural gas power plants tops $15 billion

In recent years, Ohio “has seen proposals for nearly a dozen new natural gas-fired power plants representing more than 9,200 megawatts [MW] and more than $15 billion in investments,” reports. Plants that are currently operational include the 955-MW Oregon Energy Center, representing $880 million in investment; the 908-MW Oregon Clean Energy Center, representing $800 million in investment; and Carroll County Energy, with another $800 million in investment. The largest plant, the planned 1,875-MW Guernsey Power Station, totals $1.4 billion in investment and is expected to be operational in 2022, according to the article. Ohio’s “abundant supply of clean-burning, affordable natural gas has contributed significantly to U.S. energy security, consumer savings, and economic growth — all while helping to drive America’s emissions down to a level not seen in over 15 years.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

Cleveland planning solar arrays on up to 16 city properties

The City of Cleveland could be generating some of the power needed for city buildings through new solar installations by the end of 2020, in an effort to “cut its electric bills and reduce its carbon footprint,” reports. The city requested proposals from vendors for solar projects at 16 city properties, including Cleveland City Hall, and hopes to award a contract “no later than February,” according to the article. A study launched by Cleveland City Council earlier this year suggested “there is enough annual daylight to generate enough electricity to payback the cost of solar arrays at 11 sites in less than 20 years,” and for another two sites, the payback period “is estimated at less than 15 years.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

H2Ohio water quality plan announced

On November 14, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled his long-awaited H2Ohio Water Quality Plan, a program aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff and harmful algal blooms, improving water infrastructure (including tackling the problem of failing septic systems) and preventing lead contamination to water in Ohio. On phosphorus runoff reduction, the primary area of focus will be reducing runoff in the Maumee River Watershed and Lake Erie through a certification process that will provide farmers with economic incentives if they develop a certified nutrient management plan. On water infrastructure, Ohio EPA will head up H2Ohio’s directive to fund infrastructure projects in disadvantaged communities to ensure access to safe drinking water and quality sewer infrastructure. As part of this effort, H2Ohio will fund the replacement of failing septic systems and lead pipes and fixtures in high-risk areas around Ohio. It is expected that Ohio EPA will announce more detail on these projects in the near future. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Lakewood city facilities to use 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2025

As part of the Sierra Club’s national “Ready for 100” campaign, Lakewood City Council recently pledged that the city will use 100 percent clean, renewable energy in city facilities by 2025, and go “communitywide by 2035,” reports. Council-at-large representative Tristan Rader said Lakewood has also “prioritized reducing emissions and increasing efficiency in this year’s budgeting process,” the article reports. Earlier this year, Lakewood procured “100 percent clean electricity for its two largest meters and 50 percent for all others, including for streetlights.” The city “generates clean power from a cogeneration system” at the wastewater treatment plant, and is considering “the installation of four large solar systems on city buildings over the next year.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates
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