Columbus City Council approves tax incentives for CoverMyMeds new HQ

Columbus-based prescription software firm CoverMyMeds recently received approval for two tax incentives for its $225 million project to build a new corporate campus just west of downtown; The Columbus Dispatch reports the incentives are “worth up to $83 million.” Columbus City Council approved a 15-year, 100 percent property tax abatement and an 8-year income-tax incentive for the company. CoverMyMeds “promised to retain and relocate 592 existing jobs” and to “create 1,032 new jobs with payroll totaling $76.4 million within five years” as part of the agreement, according to the article. The company will move its corporate headquarters from its current location at Miranova Place to McKinley Avenue west of North Hartford Avenue. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Opportunity Zone program stimulates development in distressed communities

A new federal program will encourage investment in distressed communities — Opportunity Zones — through tax incentives (see our April 10, 2018 blog post). The Opportunity Zone program allows taxpayers who invest in low-income areas specifically designated by the state and federal government to take advantage of up to three benefits: a temporary deferral, a reduction in gain realized through basis adjustment, and exclusion for capital gains on the investment. To qualify for these benefits, the investment must take place through a designated Opportunity Fund, an entity organized to acquire and hold for investment purposes equity interests in businesses or properties in Opportunity Zones. Ohio has 320 designated Opportunity Zones; there are 8,000 nationwide. For more, read our full article.

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, State Updates

EDP Renewables secures two PPAs for Timber Road IV project

EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR) has secured “two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with an undisclosed commercial and industrial entity to sell the energy produced from its 125 MW Timber Road IV wind project,” nawindpower.com reports. Timber Road IV is expected to begin operations in 2019. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio’s solar capacity increased by 2,600% in 10 years, report says

A new report by Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center shows the state’s renewable energy generation has grown exponentially since 2008, Columbus Free Press reports. Ohio “went from producing 1 Gigawatt [GWh] hour of solar energy and 15 GWh of wind energy in 2008, to now producing 260 GWh of solar energy and 1,563 GWh of wind energy,” according to the article. Nancy Goodes, Campaign Organizer for Environment Ohio, said the past decade “has seen explosive growth in the key technologies to power Ohio with clean, renewable energy. Ohio is poised to accelerate its shift away from fossil fuels.” The report’s authors called on both the state and federal government to strengthen clean power standards and “continue to allow Ohio to grow its renewable energy industry.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Ohio manufacturing could be revolution starting-point in advance energy technologies

Two analytical policy groups focused on “the impact of changing energy technologies on national defense” say Ohio’s manufacturing heritage “could be the starting point of a revolution in advanced-energy technologies,” Cleveland.com reports. CNA, a non-profit research and analysis organization “with roots in national defense analytical work,” and the Atlantic Council, “a think tank created in the early 1960s” in support of NATO, said the United States must embrace advanced-energy technologies or “the nation’s competitive manufacturing abilities and its military superiority will erode,” according to the article. David Livingston, the Atlantic Council’s deputy director for climate and advanced energy, said places like Cleveland that have a rich manufacturing heritage “have a role to play in the United States either being a leader or a laggard.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

Proposed billion-dollar plus Planet Oasis is largest project in Ohio in decades

Planet Oasis, a proposed multi-billion dollar entertainment complex on 350 acres in Delaware County, is “the twice the size of any other project” in Ohio and “will continue to expand in following years,” according to developer David Glimcher in a recent Columbus Business First article. Planet Oasis will include an outdoor sports park, an e-sports facility, an arena, 15 to 20 hotels and 75 to 85 restaurants, among other attractions; Glimcher said it could create 15,000 jobs. A second Columbus Business First article reports that the capstone “would be a 200,000-square-foot UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, featuring a movie theatre, bowling alley, laser tag arena, arcade and a ‘uni-coaster.’” The project “is already in a tax-increment financing district with a joint economic development agreement set up for the Tanger Outlet Mall” that opened in 2016. For more, read the Columbus Business First articles here and here.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Ohio’s first landfill-based solar farm nearly complete

Cuyahoga County’s 4-megawatt solar array on 17 acres of the City of Brooklyn’s former landfill is expected to begin generating power in test mode by the end of July, Cleveland.com reports. The array is the first one in Ohio to be built on a former landfill, but county officials are “interested in evaluating” some of the “more than 70 old landfills” for future solar arrays, according to the article. Columbus-based IGS Solar developed the array, and Cleveland Public Power is buying all of the output on behalf of Cuyahoga County. The county expects the solar farm “to shave about $3 million from its power bills over the next 25 years . . . because its pricing will remain unchanged.” Mike Foley, the county’s sustainability director, said the array is “one step toward controlling the county’s future energy costs while at the same time supporting renewable energy.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Embracing clean energy could bring $25B in investment in Ohio

New energy technologies “could lead to $25 billion in new investment in Ohio and support another 20,000 jobs,” a recent study shows, according to an article in Columbus Business First. Massachusetts-based Synapse Energy Economics and Case Western Reserve University’s Great Lakes Energy Institute, who conducted the study, “called for favorable policies in local economic development as well as a longer-term roadmap from the Statehouse to better capture potential investment and jobs.” There are “four principal changes in the energy business” that could benefit Ohio. Corporate investment by companies who want to power facilities with renewable energy could bring $6.2 billion; transportation could add another $6 billion from electric vehicles as they change the automotive market. The analysts said Ohio “has the means to quadruple green energy investment for another $7.6 billion,” and energy efficiency could add $6.6 billion. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, State Updates

West Chester investing $5M for trade center that could bring 1,000 jobs

West Chester Township approved “more than $5 million in tax increment financing [TIF] funds to create the public infrastructure needed to facilitate development of a light industrial/office park with the potential to create 1,000 new jobs,” the Journal-News reports. NorthPoint Development will construct the 1.8-million-square-foot, $75-million West Chester Trade Center on more than 100 acres along Ohio 747, according to the article. Tenants “would likely deal in light assembly, warehouse storage, distribution or office space,” NorthPoint project manager Jeremy Michael said. The TIF funds will be used for infrastructure work including bridge and road improvements, signalized intersections, and water and sewer. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

NOPEC offering USDA low-interest loans for small business energy upgrades

Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is the first organization in Ohio to offer new U.S. Department of Agriculture low-interest loans designed to “help small businesses lower their energy consumption and costs through energy-efficient upgrades,” The Morning Journal reports. Owners of commercial property within a NOPEC member community are eligible to apply for financing for projects ranging from $5,000 to $100,000; the program is open to “private sector office, retail and industrial and public-sector facilities — such as government, health care, education” and apartment buildings with more than four units. Energy upgrades that qualify include HVAC, interior and exterior lighting, insulation, windows and doors, and other renewable energy projects such as solar water heating systems. For larger projects, NOPEC offers financing up to $500,000 through its Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates
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