Ohio EPA virtual public hearing on amended rules for power plant efficiency

On Friday, October 16, 2020, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a virtual public hearing about proposed changes to rules that address power plant efficiency, according to a news release. During the hearing, “the public may submit written comments on the record about the proposed amendments to the rules,” according to the release. The proposed new rules “are being developed to comply with U.S. EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule,” which mandates “the development of enforceable performance standards based on the application of technologies and methods” determined to be the Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER) for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Citizens who want to participate in the meeting must register in advance. For more, read the full release.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

Planned OSU $278M heat and power plant gets approval

The Ohio Power Siting Board approved the Ohio State University (OSU)’s application to construct its planned $278 million combined heat and power plant on campus, Columbus Business First reports. OSU spokesperson Dan Hedman said university officials will “work to finalize a project timeline” for the plant, which “will provide ‘energy-efficient electricity, heating and cooling’ for the whole campus” while cutting carbon emissions by more than 30%, according to the article. The Columbus Dispatch reports OSU has “said the facility is the ‘cornerstone’ of its energy plan and private energy partnership, and is needed to support its new inpatient hospital and buildings that will make up Ohio State’s West Campus innovation district.” For more, read the full Columbus Business First and Columbus Dispatch articles. 

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

New PACE agreements approve $14M in financing for St. Clair Inn, Hotel Harrington

The St. Clair County Board recently approved new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) agreements for more than $3.1 million and $11 million for the St. Clair Inn and Hotel Harrington projects, respectively, the Times Herald reports. Plans for the Harrington include ceiling insulation, LED lighting, solar features, and high-efficiency heating and cooling, while the St. Clair Inn property’s plan includes “$2.9 million in heating and cooling system improvements, as well as $2.7 million in electrical and $2.2 million in plumbing,” according to the article. The county adopted its PACE program three years ago, allowing developers to repay private loans over time through an assessment against the property. For more, read the full article.

 

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Canton establishes ESID, approves tax exemption for Hall of Fame Village Hotel II project

Canton City Council has approved a tax-exemption deal that will allow the owners of Hall of Fame Village Doubletree Canton “to make service payments rather than pay real estate taxes” on the taxable value of physical improvements to the hotel, CantonRep.com reports. To “lay ground work for the tax-exemption ordinance,” city officials established a Canton Regional Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) as “part of the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) legislation,” according to the article. Property owners within the ESID are able to finance energy efficiency improvements through assessments against the property. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Columbus ESID closes over $100 million in funding

On July 17, 2020, the Columbus Regional Special Improvement District (ESID)'s PACE financing program, administered by the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, announced that they have now closed over $100 million in funding for local energy-related projects. Since 2015, the Columbus Regional ESID has provided a 32 percent average utility bill reduction and annual energy savings of $1.4 million in Franklin County. Congratulations to the ESID and Finance Authority teams, and a special congratulations to Jeremy Druhot for his hard work in making our local PACE financing program a nationally recognized success. For more, read the full press release.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance

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

Columbus’s energy benchmarking ordinance is the first in Ohio

Officials in Columbus “are getting ready to help building owners comply with the state’s first energy benchmarking ordinance,” which will require those owners “to report data on building size, energy usage and utility bills,” energynews.us reports. An EPA energy manager program will use that data to provide “Energy Star scores for energy and water usage,” according to the article. Stefan Schaffer, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s city strategist for the American Cities Climate Challenge, said the building sector “accounts for the majority of carbon emissions in Columbus,” at 58%. Cities that have adopted benchmarking policies have reported a 3% to 8% reduction in annual carbon emissions two to four years after implementation. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

Dayton manufacturer’s $3M expansion includes PACE financing

Tomco Machining, a producer of tubular assemblies for commercial and military clients, is “on track to finalize a nearly $3 million project by mid-May,” which will enable them to expand their workforce, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The company’s new 24,000 square-foot building “will be about 70% larger” than its existing facility, which had no space to add new equipment, owner Jim Tomasiak said in the article. The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority authorized “a little under $1 million” in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for the project, which “incorporates several energy-efficient design elements, including high-efficiency insulation, HVAC, efficient lighting and solar panels.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

What 2020 could look like for C-PACE financing

After Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing had “its best year ever” in 2019 with approximately $677 million in investments, this year “was shaping up to be the strongest yet” for the program before the COVID-19 pandemic, cpexecutive.com reports. Cliff Kellogg, executive director of C-PACE Alliance, “a network of C-PACE industry stakeholders,” said in the article it’s “too difficult to predict how the volume will compare to last year.” Two of the largest C-PACE lenders, Petros PACE Finance and Greenworks Lending, agree. Mansoor Ghori, co-founder and CEO of Petros, noted, “banks may pull back a little bit on lending and create more space in the capital stack for C-PACE to fill in some of the gaps.” Kellogg also noted that C-PACE investments will increase because “more states are approving enabling legislation.” Ohio has had the second highest amount of C-PACE financing activity, with a total of about $224.5 million. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

ESID will allow $30M Traditions of Lebanon facility to use PACE financing

Lebanon City Council and the Warren County Port Authority established an energy special improvement district (ESID) that will allow a retirement community developer to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, the Journal-News reports. Leo Brown Group is expected to use nearly $7.9 million of PACE financing through Petros PACE Finance Trust to fund construction of the Traditions of Lebanon 170,000-square-foot senior living community, according to the article. Energy savings “are anticipated from HVAC improvements, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and doors and the ‘building envelope.’” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates
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