Dayton area expected to add more EV charging stations with EPA funding

Electric vehicle drivers in the Dayton area may soon have more places to “fill up” thanks to an effort led by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC), the Dayton Daily News reports. “Eighteen new sites in 11 communities could be added to the dozens of publicly accessible Level 2 charging stations” if the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards funds to the MVRPC proposal, according to the article. The state agency will disburse $3.25 million from a settlement with Volkswagen over Clean Air Act violations (see our July 27, 2020 blog post). MVRPC Executive Director Brian Martin said, “[v]isible, publicly accessible EV charging serves to encourage consumers to consider plug-in vehicles” by making charging more convenient. For more, read the full article

Environmental, State Updates

Columbus green-energy aggregation plan on November ballot

City of Columbus residents will vote on Issue 1, an “opt-out” green-energy electricity aggregation plan “that promises to supply 100% of the city’s power needs with renewable energy by 2023,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. The plan’s details, including cost to residents, will be worked out after the November election, according to the article. AEP Energy “has agreed to spend $1 billion to provide 100% of the city’s power” through new Ohio renewable energy farms, instead of through green energy credits. City Council member Rob Dorans said the program will create hundreds of new jobs and allow the city “to use our collective bulk buying power to get a competitive electricity rate.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped development, investor interest in Licking County

Licking County “continues to enjoy major investment and interest from the manufacturing and logistic/fulfillment sectors,” despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Newark Advocate reports. Nate Strum, executive director of Grow Licking County, expects the county “will continue to grow in population over the next 30 or so years, and continue to reap commercial development benefits owing partly to geography and surrounding transportation routes,” according to the article. He said Licking County “has four of the largest users of renewable energy in the world" with facilities by Amazon, Facebook, Google and Owens Corning. Strum also noted four companies, three of which are international, have made site visits recently. Additionally, Grow Licking County has two tax incentive offers going before state officials for final consideration, and hopes to have two or three more by the end of the year. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Beachwood considers expanding CRA to promote economic development

Beachwood City Council “is favoring the idea” of expanding its current Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) “as a means of attracting or keeping businesses,” Cleveland.com reports. Mayor Martin Horwitz said the proposed expanded area would “basically be all of our commercial property,” according to the article. James Heller, economic development consultant for the city, said, “[i]t’s important to have (a CRA) in place when a developer is looking” as incentives are one of the first things developers ask about when planning a project, and Beachwood is in competition with other cities that have CRAs. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

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

Fitzgerald named new Economic Development executive director for ACEDC

The Athens County Economic Development Council (ACEDC) has appointed Mollie Fitzgerald as its new economic development executive director, the Athens Messenger reports. Fitzgerald has served ACEDC as assistant director since August 2019, and was previously the executive director of Athens-based nonprofit Live Healthy Appalachia. She “has played a key role in the ACEDC’s on-going projects and holds a strong understanding of the local, regional and state economic development programs, partners and networks,” according to the article. She is an Ohio University graduate and holds her Master of Public Administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs. For more, read the full article (subscription required).

Economic Development, State Updates

GM to repay $40M in tax credits for shuttered Lordstown plant

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) has ordered General Motors (GM) to “repay $28 million of the $60.3 million in tax credits the company received in 2008,” after the company failed to meet the terms of the agreement when it closed its Lordstown Chevy Cruze plant in 2019, Cleveland.com reports. GM also agreed “to make $12 million worth of grants in the Mahoning Valley by the end of 2022,” according to the article. The Business Journal reports “state and local officials largely hailed” the TCA’s decision; Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said the authority probably weighed GM’s investment in the $2.3 billion Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown, and said he was happy the company hadn’t completely left the community. For more, read the full Cleveland.com and Business Journal articles. 

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, 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

Xenia creates Community Improvement Corporation to boost economic development

The City of Xenia has approved establishing a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to “encourage and facilitate economic, industrial and commercial development in the city,” the Dayton Daily News reports. City Manager Brett Merriman said the CIC “will help fix up blighted properties or aid properties that are currently underused,” according to the article, noting the corporation’s flexibility to do things that the city cannot, such as “acquire and sell land and get financing for real estate.” The Xenia CIC will also “play a role in establishing a downtown Main Street program.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates
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