Posts Authored by Zachary D. Eddy

Champaign County wind farm project granted extension

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently granted an extension to “two phases of a proposed wind farm in Champaign County,” giving the developers until May 2019 to begin construction, the Journal-News reports. The OPSB sided with the developer, Everpower Wind Holdings, “who argued the extensions were needed because years of litigation by opponents had delayed the project,” according to the article. The board’s decision extends the certificate for two proposed phases of the project, Buckeye Wind and Champaign Wind, which would install about 50 wind turbines across sections of the county. The OPSB ruled against a group of residents opposed to the project, stating they had “long ago missed a deadline to have a say in the process and instead relied on a separate group of opponents,” Union Neighbors United (UNU), to protect their interests. UNU reached a settlement with the developers last year. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Butler County looking at clean technology for public transportation

Officials in Butler County would like to bring hydrogen fuel cell or battery electric powered buses to the area to make local transportation cleaner and more sustainable, the Journal-News reports. The county needs to partner with a local agency or agencies to “fund the remainder of a vehicle’s price once federal grants are secured” to make that happen, according to the article. A diesel bus can cost $600,000, while a hydrogen fuel-cell bus is twice that at $1.2 million. Fuel cells “are considered safer than gasoline-powered vehicles and are two to three times more efficient,” reducing the amount of carbon emissions by 100 tons per vehicle. Butler County Regional Transit Authority Executive Director Matt Dutkevicz said battery electric or fuel-cell buses would be “a leap forward in local transportation in terms of reducing emissions and increasing sustainability.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental

Renewable Hudson shining the light on solar for community

Cleveland-based solar installation company YellowLite joined with Renewable Hudson, an organization that promotes renewable energy in the city of Hudson, for a talk last month aimed to help community members better understand solar energy, MyTownNEO reports. The talk covered “how solar energy works,” why Ohio is in fact a good state for solar power, and how Hudson has already been supporting solar energy. Renewable Hudson conducted another talk recently at the Hudson Library, and YellowLite “frequently travels around the state to educate people on solar technology,” according to the article. Azam Kazmi, president of YellowLite, called Hudson “one of the strongest communities in Ohio for solar,” saying the city has a reputation for being progressive and business-friendly. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy

AEP Ohio awards OU $250k to research solar’s economic benefits

AEP Ohio has awarded $250,000 in grants to Ohio University to conduct research on the economic benefits of renewable energy initiatives in southeastern Ohio, The Athens News reports. The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at the university, which has a long-established relationship with AEP Ohio and the AEP Foundation, will conduct the research project. The study will focus on three main areas: “economic and workforce impacts of currently planned solar installations in Ohio, approaches to additional utility and non-utility solar deployment, and the grid reliability benefits of increasing solar energy penetration,” according to the article. The team will also look at the potential results of “future policy and program changes.” Gilbert Michaud, principal investigator on the project, said, “the increase in tax revenues and job creation associated with increased solar deployment will help create a more stable economy for the region.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy

Akron PNC Center begins $8.5M PACE-financed energy efficiency project

The 23-story PNC Center in downtown Akron has begun work on an $8.5-million energy-efficiency improvement project funded through property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, the Akron Beacon-Journal reports. A 25,000-pound aging chiller and two boilers will be removed and replaced with more efficient heating and cooling systems. The project also includes new lighting and other energy-efficient upgrades. The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA) is issuing bonds to finance the project; those bonds will be repaid over 18 years at an average rate of about $477,000 annually. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Can OSU’s carbon-capture technology help coal compete with renewables?

Coal-direct chemical looping (CDCL), a “promising technology under development at The Ohio State University,” can convert fossil fuels, including coal, into electricity without creating carbon dioxide pollution, Energy News Network reports. David Kraft, a fellow with power company Babcock & Wilcox, which is partnering with the university, said CDCL “has potential to transform the power and petrochemical industries,” according to the article. The technology involves metal oxide particles passing through high-pressure reactors to burn coal, biomass, or shale gas without the presence of oxygen. The CO2 is captured and can be used “for nanofibers or chemicals such as acetic acid or methanol.” Another outcome, synthesis gas, is “the technology’s likeliest near-term application, as it’s used as fuel in electricity-generating internal combustion engines” and the falling costs of renewable power generation make the economic viability of “clean coal” unclear. For more, read the full article

Environmental

After a strong 2017 for renewables mergers & acquisitions, 2018 could be even better

Despite uncertainty in the renewables sector going in to 2017, last year ended with some of the strongest wind and solar mergers and acquisitions activity to date, and 2018 could be even stronger, nawindpower.com reports. While there has been an increase in the number of competitors in the U.S. renewables market, an imbalance in supply versus demand has “resulted in highly competitive auction processes and evolving perspectives on project life and merchant pricing in order to maintain competitiveness,” according to the article. Increasing competition to acquire projects highlighted the scarcity of quality teams to develop projects, leading market participants to move quickly to “secure both development teams and project pipelines.” Nawindpower.com expects the trends from 2017 to continue, with the number of investors entering the renewable energy market continuing to increase while energy companies increasingly focus on renewable energy to replace retiring coal and nuclear plants. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy