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

Largest C-PACE deal in U.S. for 2018: $16.3M for Columbus project

Petros PACE Finance, LLC announced “the closing of a $16.3 million Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) transaction in Columbus, Ohio with UPH Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Continental Hospitality Group and Concord Hospitality Enterprises,” according to a Business Insider press release. The deal, which “will fund eligible upgrades to a 354-room dual branded Marriott Hotel & Residence Inn” near The Ohio State University, is “the largest publicly-announced C-PACE deal in the country to date in 2018,” according to the release. Continental secured the C-PACE financing through the Columbus Regional Energy Special Improvement District PACE program; Bricker & Eckler LLP served as PACE counsel for the project. For more, read the full press release.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

Warren County lays groundwork for CRA to draw “top companies”

Commissioners in Warren County voted to establish a tax abatement zone on large parcels of undeveloped land in order to help draw “top companies shopping for new places to bring expansions and quality jobs,” the Dayton Daily News reports. Commissioner Dave Young “expressed reluctance about setting up the community investment area [CRA]” before the vote but agreed “the county needed the economic development tool in its toolbox,” according to the article. Projects to bring industrial or commercial developments to the CRA along Interstate 75 between Cincinnati and Dayton could receive tax abatements “of up to 75 percent for 15 years” and would likely be offered in conjunction with a joint economic development district that would enable Turtlecreek Township to collect income tax.  For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Better energy polices could help bring $25B and 20K jobs to Ohio

New energy technologies “could lead to $25 billion” in investment and 20,000 new jobs for Ohio, according to a Powering Ohio report from Synapse Energy Economics and Case Western Reserve University’s Great Lakes Energy Institute, Columbus Business First reports. The report says “[t]he changing transportation industry could bring major jobs and investment to Ohio if the state has an energy policy in place to promote it,” according to the article. Recommendations include “nine points of policy improvement, including growing electric vehicles and clean energy workforce and attracting more manufacturing, enhancing the grid and smart transportation infrastructure.” The Smart Columbus program “has been a major leg up for this,” but a larger statewide strategy for energy policy “remains a key sticking point.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Smart Cities, State Updates

Lorain Port Authority new 5-year plan includes name change and business financing

A “slight name change” reflects the goal of the Lorain Port Authority’s new five-year strategic plan: to continue to do what the agency does well and expand its role in business financing for the area, The Morning Journal reports. The plan has three visions that reflect the new name, the Lorain Port & Finance Authority. The visions include the Port establishing itself “as the community and economic development leader in Lorain,” and utilizing “the finance capacity allowed under Ohio law to development finance programming and investment,” according to the article. The plan “was developed over 10 months with the Council of Development Finance Agencies, or CDFA, a Columbus-based nonprofit group.” Port Executive Director Tom Brown said the “Port has touched the surface of business financing and will do more of that with the help of the CDFA.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

Amazon HQ2 bid process “built Columbus’ muscles” to compete for big projects

The City of Columbus made it to the top 20 finalists for Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters project (see our January 18, 2018 blog post), and while Amazon chose other cities in the end, the bid process brought its own “wins” for central Ohio, Columbus Business First reports. Local “government agencies, businesses and colleges amped up their collaborative tradition” and “built up knowledge and tactics being applied right now in talks with other major employers, several officials said,” according to the article. An editorial in The Columbus Dispatch said the “Columbus region already won just by being among the elite top 20 finalists out of 238 cities to bid on the project,” receiving “global attention” from media reports about Amazon’s search. The Dispatch article also noted Amazon has “announced $2 billion in Ohio projects since 2011.”  For more, read the full Columbus Business First and Columbus Dispatch articles. 

Economic Development, State Updates

Fortune 500 company could bring $147M project to Dayton area

An unidentified Fortune 500 manufacturing company is “considering multiple Dayton-area locations for a $147 million project” that would create at least 80 new jobs, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The company is looking at Dayton, Union and Brookville for the massive project proposal, called “Project Nora,” to construct “a 300,000-square-foot facility that could expand to 1.1 million square feet over time,” according to the article. Each city is planning to offer a 15-year tax abatement as well as proposing “a $500,000 Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) grant from the county” to help offset development costs. Because the project is “highly competitive,” incentives “and a move-in ready site are key to ensuring it is located in Montgomery County.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Kettering mayor’s economic development initiatives attract businesses

Don Patterson, the mayor of Kettering since 2005, has had a “mission of developing the city’s economic base,” and his efforts have transformed the city into “a community of opportunity,” the Dayton Business Journal reports. His initiatives have included the $10-million Wilmington Pike Improvement Plan to “revitalize run-down properties” and “overall redevelop the space” to create opportunity for growth, and the $1.5-million purchase of “almost 300 acres of unimproved land at the Miami Valley Research Park,” according to the article. That land is now home to companies such as Kodak and Reynolds and Reynolds. A new $50-million facility by Community Tissue Services could bring 200 to 300 new jobs to Kettering, while manufacturer Tenneco Inc. plans to invest $61 million to expand its Kettering facility, bringing in another 300 jobs. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates

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

Proposed $100M Cleveland microgrid would make downtown power-secure

Two university energy centers have proposed a $100-million microgrid that could protect downtown Cleveland businesses from power failures and cyber attacks on the grid, Cleveland.com reports. The proposal, which Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University prepared for the Cleveland Foundation, said commercial customers “would have clean power delivered in a cyber-secure system designed to be operational 99.999 percent” of the time, translating to “less than 6 minutes of power loss per year,” the article reports. The grid “would be designed to ‘island’ itself from the larger grid if needed” to insulate customers from regional or national blackouts. An economic impact study “predicts the project by 2026 would create as many as 2,264 jobs with annual earnings of nearly $162 million.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, State Updates
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