Cleveland startup awarded $1M federal grant for new solar racking system

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a $1-million Small Business Innovation Research grant to Cleveland-based Acme Express for a new solar racking system that “will change the way solar panels are installed throughout the industry,” TechStartups reports. The “single component Roll-A-Rack,” in which roll-form machines produce custom solar racking on demand, “is significantly simpler than today’s multicomponent racking systems,” according to the article. The grant will fund research and further testing of Roll-A-Rack, including efficiency refinements. Don Scipione, president of Acme Express, said Roll-A-Rack will make solar energy “far more accessible and affordable.” The system is expected to be commercially available by the end of 2020. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, State Updates

OSU Extension specialists explain solar farm leasing for landowners

What do farm landowners need to understand about the solar leasing process? As solar energy companies have “approached several landowners in Madison County” in recent months, asking to lease their land, Ohio State University Extension is hoping to help answer that question, Columbus Messenger reports. Lower solar construction costs and a change in solar energy policy is prompting investors to rush to get projects started; two solar farm projects in Madison County are currently in the pre-application process with the State of Ohio, according to the article. OSU Extension specialists recently hosted “Solar Leasing 101,” a discussion about the process of leasing land for solar projects and the resources available to landowners. For more information, landowners can visit farmoffice.osu.edu and read the full article.

Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, State Updates

PACENation 2020 Annual Summit coming to Columbus

PACENation, a national trade association providing education, advocacy and resources for PACE financing, selected Columbus, Ohio, as the site of its 2020 Annual Summit, which will be held March 30-April 1. Bricker is on the Host Committee and is a conference sponsor, and we welcome our public sector, development and energy colleagues to attend. Registration is available online via the conference event page.  

Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Refinancing will net JobsOhio additional $81M to be invested in economic development

Bricker & Eckler LLP served as underwriter’s counsel for a refinancing transaction recently completed to assist JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development group. The Dayton Business Journal reports that JobsOhio announced “a new financing solution that will generate nearly $81 million in savings over the next 18 years, helping fuel additional investment” in Ohio’s economy. JobsOhio is funded through “revenue from the Beverage System,” which it acquired in 2013. Recently, CFO Brian Faust led a team that “made a case to credit rating agencies for an upgrade” based on a notable uptick in profits and operational successes, according to the article. In response, Moody’s “affirmed the current rating of Aa3 with stable outlook” and Standard & Poor’s announced a ratings upgrade to AA+. JobsOhio then closed on Series 2020A bonds with “an all-in interest cost well below 3 percent.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Shelby solar energy project now operational

The City of Shelby’s solar energy project, more than two years in the making, is now operational. The city entered into a series of agreements with AEP OnSite Partners, LLC for a 2.5-MW solar array, which is located on 14 acres of property. (Bricker & Eckler represented the city in negotiations with AEP OnSIte.) Cost savings for the city are estimated to be $205,000 in the first year and $3 million over the next 10 years. The solar array contains approximately 6,939 solar panels that are programmed to rotate throughout the day so they are always facing the sun. The project will produce 3,500 megawatt hours per year. Individuals who are interested in tracking the energy produced by the solar array can visit the city’s utility department website to view the projects energy production.

The mayor of Shelby recently touted the benefits of the project for the city.  “This renewable energy is not only economically beneficial, but it is environmentally beneficial as well,” said Mayor Steve Schag. “We are truly blessed to be a leader in the area of renewable energy partnerships in north central Ohio. In doing some research, very few municipalities of our size have a solar field of that size within their city limits," Schag said. For the full article, click here.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, State Updates

Two new downtown Columbus fast-charge stations for EVs just the beginning

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers can now quickly and easily “fill up” at the first two fast-charge stations in downtown Columbus, according to a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch. Each of the stations, on Fulton Street west of South 4th Street, “can simultaneously charge two vehicles in about 30 minutes,” according to the article. The pilot project is “funded in part by a $10 million grant” awarded through Columbus’ Smart City Challenge. Mandy Bishop, project manager for Smart Columbus, said the goal is to have 1,000 fast-charge stations installed in the city by March, mostly near businesses and apartment complexes. Michael Mazur, COO of Greenspot, the company that operates the pumps, said, “Columbus continues to prove itself as a leading city . . . paving the way for cleaner, more efficient transportation options.” For more, read the full article.

Smart Cities, State Updates

Cincinnati mayor, school district reach agreement on abatements

A new agreement announced by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education will allow tax abatements for commercial developers to continue, while requiring developers to pay more than previously, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The school district said “it needs to receive a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) of 33% of the total millage on improvements to get the same amount of tax revenue it would have received” without abatements, according to the article. Under the previous agreement, which expired December 31, 2019, developers paid CPS “either 25% or 27% of the total effective millage” of the property. Because these payments did not make the district whole, the city gave CPS additional money out of its general fund. Cranley said the city and school district “still disagree on the mathematics of the abatement debate but that he was accepting CPS’s position.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Opportunity Appalachia forum features ideas for attracting community investment

The Opportunity Appalachia forum, held in Marietta, Ohio, on January 14, brought together approximately 75 local leaders in southeastern Ohio to learn more about the federal Opportunity Zone program. Created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones allow investors with significant capital gains to make investments in eligible areas in Ohio to delay and/or reduce their federal tax obligations. Bricker & Eckler was represented by Public Finance attorney Jeff Harris as one of many state and national speakers addressing the audience on how to attract investments to their communities. Harris specifically talked about how to create an Opportunity Zone prospectus, to be published online and in print form, to highlight eligible investment projects in one’s local community. For more, read the full story.

Economic Development, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, State Updates

Will a $5B tech company choose Columbus for its U.S. headquarters?

Veeam Software Corp., a $5-billion Swiss cloud computing company, will be moving its headquarters from Baar, Switzerland to the U.S., and several top executives at the company have ties to Columbus, according to a recent Columbus Business First article. Insight Partners, “a New York City venture capital and private equity firm that specializes in software,” recently acquired Veeam and announced it would relocate the company’s headquarters to the U.S., the article reports. William Largent, who is resuming his former role as CEO of Veeam, graduated from Franklin University and owns a house in Delaware County. Co-founders Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov founded another company, Aelita Software, in Columbus suburb Dublin before starting Veeam. Timashev is a graduate of The Ohio State University. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, State Updates

Cuyahoga Falls approves tax incentive for company bringing jobs, $22M investment

Cuyahoga Falls City Council approved “a 10-year, 75-percent property tax break” for manufacturing company Kyocera SGS Precision Tools, which will make “a $22.4 million investment that will move 84 employees” to the city, MyTownNEO reports. Kyocera “is planning to spend $2.97 million to remodel the inside and outside” of two buildings on Marc Drive, and will relocate “about $11.3 million in machinery and equipment” to the new sites, according to the article. The 84 employees represent almost $5.7 million in annual payroll. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Financial Incentives, State Updates
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10