Posts Authored by Zachary D. Eddy

Non-utility customers purchase record amount of wind power in 2018

Fortune 500 companies “and a range of other non-utility entities, including cities and universities,” purchased a record amount of wind power capacity in 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)’s fourth-quarter report. Nawindpower.com reports that AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2018 Market Report shows customers “such as AT&T, Walmart, ExxonMobil and Shell Energy” purchased “a record 4,203 MW of wind power capacity in 2018 through power purchase agreements (PPAs).” Utilities “signed contracts for 4,304 MW of wind power in 2018”; combined with non-utility purchases, 2018 had a record-level high PPA activity of 8,507 MW. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy

DP&L seeks PUCO approval for $576M Distribution Modernization Plan

Dayton Power & Light Co. (DP&L) plans to invest $576 million in capital projects “to transform its electric grid” over the next decade, the Dayton Business Journal reports. DP&L’s proposal would allow the utility “to prepare for the integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources into its grid, including community solar, energy storage and microgrids,” according to the article. The company says its Distribution Modernization Plan “will transform the electric grid into a system that uses information and communications technologies to allow our customers to experience personalized, innovative, and seamless energy services.” Investments “will also create a ‘self-healing’ grid, allowing DP&L to isolate problems automatically and re-route power around the problem without noticeable interruption of service to customers.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

OSU-area hotel making $16M in energy efficiency upgrades with PACE financing

The Marriott Hotel & Residence Inn on Olentangy River Road near The Ohio State University main campus will get $16.3 million in energy efficiency upgrades funded through Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, Columbus Business First reports. The financing, which was the largest publicly announced C-PACE transaction in the United States in 2018 (see our December 14, 2018 blog post), will fund “a comprehensive building envelope upgrade, lighting improvements and other efficiency measures,” according to the article. The upgrades “are expected to save significant energy costs for the hotel in coming years.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

UC Clermont College now 100% powered by wind energy

A three-year energy agreement with American Electric Power means the University of Cincinnati Clermont College is “now 100 percent wind-powered,” according to an article on the school’s website. The agreement, which began in October 2018, “covers energy provided for UC Clermont College, UC Blue Ash and the university’s satellite sites,” the article reports. The move “will save the equivalent in CO2 emissions of 3,683 homes’ electricity use for one year,” and is projected to save the college approximately $25,000 annually. For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

AEP’s planned Highland County solar farms a welcome boost for southern Ohio

Development, business and construction leaders across Appalachia rallied in support at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)’s first public hearing on AEP’s plan to build two solar farms in Highland County, Columbus Business First reports. The 300-megawatt (MW) Highland Solar Farm, if completed, would be the largest in Ohio. AEP says constructing that farm and the 100-MW Willowbrook Solar Farm “would bring $24 million in new state tax revenue and $6.7 million in local tax revenue,” while construction “would support 4,000 jobs, including 113 permanent manufacturing jobs in the solar supply chain,” according to the article. The Columbus Dispatch reports “witnesses from economic-development and environmental groups . . . testified about the need for jobs in a region of the state that has been struggling economically, and the value of moving away from fossil fuels to renewable sources.” For more, read the full Columbus Business First and Columbus Dispatch articles. 

Economic Development, Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Belpre plans to add solar panels to fire station

Belpre City Council unanimously approved the first reading of a resolution that would allow a solar energy system to be installed at the Belpre Fire Station on Washington Boulevard, The Marietta Times reports. If the second and third readings are approved, the mayor and safety-service director will be able to “execute a contract with Pickering Energy Solutions LLC” and have the system installed early in 2019, according to the article. The project “will be done at no cost to the city, with the city and Pickering sharing the cost savings,” according to Mayor Mike Lorentz. The system will be similar to one previously installed at the Belpre Municipal Building, which provides electricity for the city’s police department daytime operations. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Funding approved for new railyard facility in Hannibal

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced $20 million in funding for the construction of a new railyard and pipeline facility in the town of Hannibal, Ohio on December 6, according to The Daily Jeff. The rail transloading project is expected to increase the area's energy exports and connectivity to global markets. For more, read the full story.

Economic Development, Environmental

Sirna and Sons solar installation generates 35% of company’s electric usage

Ravenna-based Sirna and Sons Produce has installed 1,331 solar panels on the roof of their Route 88 facility, enough to generate 35% of the electricity needed to power the 115,000 square feet of warehouse and office space, the Record-Courier reports. Tom Sirna, president of the fourth-generation wholesale food distributor, said the 30-percent federal tax credit lowered the payback period of the project from 10 to 12 years to 6 years. Without that, Sirna said, “the company probably wouldn’t have gone solar,” according to the article. The 452.5-kilowatt system “should cut carbon emissions by 650 tons every year,” which not only increases the company’s marketability, but aligns with Sirna’s goals to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Exelon files complaint and injunction motions against FirstEnergy Solutions in bankruptcy case

On November 26, 2018, Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon) filed a complaint in U.S. bankruptcy court for the Northern District of Ohio for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, along with a motion for preliminary injunction, against FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), to enforce a purchase agreement for the sale of FES' retail electric business to Exelon. Exelon, a Fortune 100 energy provider, alleges that FES is in material breach of the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) “through its failure to use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain a Sale Order by November 6, 2018.” The alleged breach comes after Exelon was the only successful bidder, agreeing to buy bankrupt FES’ retail electric assets for $140 million in cash plus other consideration. Exelon has also asked the court to grant an emergency motion due to a fast approaching end-of-year deadline. 

Renewable Energy

Community leaders form Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance to save Ohio’s nuclear plants

A “broad-based coalition of community leaders and organizations” have joined to form the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance, a group “seeking a public policy solution” that will allow the state’s two nuclear energy plants to remain in operation, The News-Herald reports. The coalition “will engage legislators, policymakers and the public to highlight the employment, economic, environmental and grid reliability benefits” provided by the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear plants, the article reports. Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino said the plants contribute “over $500 million annually to the state’s economy — over 4,000 jobs are at stake.” Members of the alliance include the Perry Economic Development Council, members of the North Perry Village Council and the Mentor Council, the superintendent of Perry Local Schools and other community leaders. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates
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