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

Cuyahoga County solar projects will save money, protect environment

New solar energy installations on three Cuyahoga County buildings will save taxpayer dollars while also protecting the environment as part of the county’s Climate Change Action Plan, County Executive Armond Budish said in a recent Newsradio WTAM 1100 article. Solar panels installed at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Harvard Road Garage are expected to save the county $900,000 over 25 years, according to the article. Budish said, “we have committed to adding more renewable energy into both our properties and the local grid as a whole.” The county is also assisting Lakewood with solar projects on four city-owned buildings, which are expected to save the city $855,000 in energy costs over 30 years. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance has record-breaking year for PACE financing

Bricker & Eckler LLP congratulates Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) on a record-breaking year in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing transactions. In 2019, GCEA has closed 24 PACE loans valued at nearly $27 million, more than doubling their 2018 total. GCEA is a nonprofit organization with a mission to facilitate investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to reduce carbon emissions. For more about the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, click here.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Project Finance, 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

Renewables now less expensive than natural gas generation, new report says

Independent nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) recently released a report showing portfolios of clean energy resources “can provide the same energy and reliability services as traditional gas power plants” at a lower cost, reports. The report, The Growing Market for Clean Energy Portfolios, states the “economics guiding U.S. investments in electricity generation have reached a historic tipping point: Combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response are now less expensive than most proposed gas power plant projects,” according to the article. The report finds “over 95% of gas use in proposed gas-fired power plants across much of the Eastern U.S. could be economically offset by clean energy by 2035,” potentially leading to natural gas plant closures just as cheaper natural gas has led to the retirement of coal-fired plants in recent years. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy

NASA study finds huge solar potential for Cleveland

A 5.4-square mile section of Cleveland has the potential to generate 100,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually — enough to power 10,000 homes — through widespread deployment of rooftop solar systems, NASA researchers found, according to a recent U.S. Energy News article. The analysis, from NASA’s DEVELOP program, “used aerial images to calculate rooftop solar capacity” and found that 85% of the 100,000 megawatts “could be generated on a fifth of the buildings” within that area, according to the article. These findings “could help inform the city’s strategy as it aims to achieve 100% renewable energy” as well as net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Columbus first non-attainment area in nation to meet ozone air quality standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio EPA recently announced “the Columbus area is the first non-attainment area in the nation to meet the most recent federal air quality standard for ozone,” according to a news release. Recent air monitoring data “show the Columbus area now meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone in addition to all other federal air quality standards set to protect public health,” the release reports. With that designation, businesses in the area “will face fewer air permitting restrictions paving the way for infrastructure investment and economic development that will create jobs.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

Cincinnati plans transition to electric vehicles for city fleet

The City of Cincinnati “plans to add 20 electric vehicles [EV] and 162 charging stations by the end of 2020” as part of a plan to eventually “transition the city’s fleet to an all EV fleet,” the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. Carla Walker, the city’s climate advisor, “said the city has allocated $96,000 in its budget to buy the 20 additional vehicles,” according to the article. Bloomberg Philanthropies chose Cincinnati to be part of the American Cities Climate Challenge, and will support the city’s efforts “to tackle climate change and support a sustainable future.” Walker “wants to educate 10,000 people on the advantages of electric vehicles” over the next year by hosting Ride and Drive events, among others. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, State Updates

Twinsburg plans to install EV charging stations with NOPEC grant money

Electric vehicle (EV) owners in the Twinsburg area may soon have more options to charge away from home, as the city plans to install one or more EV charging stations, MyTownNEO reports. Mayor Ted Yates said at a recent City Council meeting “the city’s $42,000 energized community grant from the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council [NOPEC] will likely be used to create at least one station,” according to the article. Yates said “if the price is right” the city may consider multiple charging station locations, with installation complete by August or September. The primary goal of energized community grants “is to help communities implement energy savings or energy infrastructure measures.” Twinsburg has used previous grants to improve lighting in city buildings. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Project Finance, State Updates
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