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

SARTA offers free loan of fuel-cell bus to any transit authority in the U.

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and the manufacturers of its fuel-cell buses have launched a national promotion “to persuade other transit authorities to switch to hydrogen fuel cells,” Cleveland.com reports. SARTA “is offering to loan” one of its 13 fuel-cell buses free of charge “to any transit authority in the nation interested in seeing first-hand how the now commercially available technology works,” according to the article. Kirt Conrad, SARTA’s CEO, said, “[g]iving the people across the country the opportunity to see, learn about, and ride on a hydrogen-fuel cell bus is the best way to demonstrate this technology’s potential to totally transform the way vehicles are powered here and around the world.” SARTA’s fuel cell buses have electric motors powered by on-board fuel cells that use oxygen from the air and stored hydrogen to generate power, emitting only water. For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy

Energy policy important for landing Amazon investment

Amazon’s head of energy policy, Jake Oster, “implored economic development leaders” at a Midwestern Governors Association conference “to put energy policy on par with other economic development considerations,” Columbus Business First reports. Oster urged government leaders “to think progressively if they’re trying to land one of [Amazon’s] massive facilities,” the article reports. Amazon’s Web Services segment is halfway to its commitment to power its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy. Oster said, “[a]t the end of the day, our priorities are sourcing reliable, cost-competitive clean energy, and we want policies that facilitate those outcomes. We want policymakers to use caution when using barriers that make it harder to develop clean energy.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Vinton Solar Energy LLC gets approval for 125-MW solar farm

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently authorized Vinton Solar Energy LLC to construct the 125-megawatt Vinton Solar Facility in Vinton County, farmanddairy.com reports. The solar farm will be “located on approximately 1,950 acres of pasture land near McArthur, Ohio,” and “will transmit generated electricity to the power grid,” according to the article. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Lake Erie wind turbine project “won’t harm environment,” DOE rules

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently ruled that the Lake Erie Energy Development Co. (LEEDCo)’s proposed project to build six wind turbines off the shore of Lake Erie “will have no significant impact on the environment,” Cleveland.com reports. The finding “included 14 categories of environmental impact,” including impact on the lake bottom as well as on birds, bats, fish and water quality. The ruling follows a two-year review and “means the federal agency’s funding arm can continue to support” the proposal to build the wind farm 8 to 10 miles offshore, according to the article. Six years ago, the DOE awarded LEEDCo a $50 million grant for the project, and has “so far dispensed $10 million of that award as the project developers met required milestones.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Federal Updates, Renewable Energy, State Updates

PUCO unveils roadmap for modernizing Ohio’s power grid

A “wave of change” in how consumers and businesses use electricity is coming, and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is helping utilities prepare with its recently released report, “PowerForward: A Roadmap to Ohio’s Electricity Future,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. PUCO Chairman Asim Haque said, “[t]he grid has to be modernized, its infrastructure and method of delivery are many, many decades old,” according to the article. Columbus Business First reports Haque said that utilities must “undertake modernizations that take into account new technologies, renewable energy, electric vehicles, home interfaces like smart thermostats as well as big-picture security issues like emergent cybersecurity threats.” PUCO will use the report “as a framework as it regulates energy infrastructure investment in the coming years,” according to Columbus Business First. For more, read the full Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First articles. 

Renewable Energy, State Updates

State certifies Seneca Wind as qualified energy project

The State of Ohio has certified the Seneca Wind project “as a qualified energy project, establishing a fixed payment in lieu of taxes” throughout its operational life, The Adviser-Tribune reports. Seneca Wind will “consist of up to 85 wind turbines on about 25,000 acres” in Scipio, Reed, Eden, Venice and Bloom townships, “providing energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year,” according to the article. The project’s proposed 212 megawatts of capacity over the expected 30-year lifespan of the project “would result in $56 million of revenue” from developer and owner sPower, “to be divided among schools, townships and Seneca County.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Athens-based company named top solar provider in Ohio

Leading solar provider Third Sun Solar, based in Athens, Ohio, was ranked first in Ohio solar providers by Solar Power World’s 2018 Top 500 Solar Contractor’s List, The Athens News reports. Nationwide, Third Sun Solar was ranked 28th “among firms offering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to commercial clients,” according to the article. Solar Power World developed the annual list “to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States.” Rankings for the list were determined “by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2017 in the United States only.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Bexley offering seminar for residential PACE program

Bricker & Eckler LLP and the City of Bexley will present a seminar for the city’s recently created PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program on September 24, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Bexley City Hall. Caleb Bell of Bricker & Eckler and Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler will explain how solar companies can participate in the program and provide financing to residential property owners. PACE financing allows property owners to finance energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades to their properties and repay the costs through special assessments on their real property tax bills. To register, click here.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, Renewable Energy

Ohio Caverns first in U.S. to produce solar energy on site

When Ohio Caverns opened to the public in 1897, “visitors walked through with lanterns and candles”; now, the tourist attraction is “the first cave in the United States to have solar energy produced on site,” the Urbana Daily Citizen reports. Ohio Caverns installed a solar field that produces “44,000 watts at any given time when the sun is at its peak,” making it “energy neutral,” according to the article. Owner Eric Evans said the cave and facilities were completely retrofitted with LED lighting, which lowered energy consumption to the point “that solar became very viable.” Evans said, “we’ve been stewards of the environment since the cave first opened. . . . That’s where we see the future and longevity of the cavern is protecting and preserving the environment, and this was by far the cleanest form of energy known.” For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Renewable Energy
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