Great Lakes Authority established to promote economic, environmental development

The eight states surrounding the Great Lakes have a new federal commission to “govern the economic and environmental challenges” they face, The Chronicle-Telegram reports. Proposed by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), the Great Lakes Authority “will oversee Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New York in trying to advance the Great Lakes,” the article reports. The authority “can use grants to fund workforce training, employment-related education, entrepreneurship, technology and business development in the eight states, as well as projects benefitting transportation, telecommunications and public infrastructure.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Federal Updates, State Updates

Study says Ohio is poised to become a leader in hydrogen economy

A comprehensive study released by JobsOhio and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) “asserts that Ohio is poised to become a leader in the clean hydrogen-fueled, zero-emission economy,” yahoo!finance reports. The study, Developing a Hydrogen Economy in Ohio: Challenges and Opportunities, “validates Ohio as a prime location for a Clean Hydrogen Hub, as defined by the United States Department of Energy (DOE),” according to the article. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) “appropriated $10 billion to DOE for the creation of at least four Clean Hydrogen Hubs” in the United States. J.P. Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio, said the study “provides clear and convincing evidence that Ohio not only meets but exceeds the criteria established for the hubs in the IIJA.” Nauseef said Ohio has “feedstock and end-use diversity, one of the nation’s largest supplies of natural gas, and the geology to accommodate hydrogen storage and carbon sequestration,” as well as being “geographically positioned in an area where critical processing, storage, and distribution infrastructure will be developed.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

ODOD releases rules and program guidelines for Brownfield Remediation Program and Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program

The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) released rules and associated program guideline documents (Brownfield Remediation and Building Demolition and Site Revitalization) to govern the disbursement of $500 million in total grant funds for distressed properties in Ohio. Governor DeWine’s signature of H.B. 110 on June 30, 2021, set in motion the creation of two massive funding sources that are now available to community and economic development stakeholders: Brownfield Remediation Program (see R.C. 122.6511) and Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program (see R.C. 122.6512). Each of these programs will be administered by the ODOD pursuant to its newly-promulgated rules and the associated program guideline documents. The rules were emergency filed and are effective as of December 7, 2021, and are currently set to expire on April 7, 2022. ODOD is expected to initiate a formal rulemaking process for the rules between now and April 7, 2022, which will include the opportunity for public notice and comment. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Financial Incentives, State Updates

JPMorgan Chase solar installation at Polaris office is second largest in the world

The parking lot at JPMorgan Chase’s McCoy Center at Polaris doubles as “a giant solar farm” that includes “about 40,000 [solar] panels covering about 165,000 square feet,” making it the second largest commercial office solar installation worldwide, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The bank, the largest private employer in the Columbus region, previously installed solar panels on the roof of the McCoy Center; combined with the parking lot installation, the panels will “meet 75% of the electricity needs” of the building, “said to be the largest single-user office building in the U.S. after the Pentagon,” according to the article. The bank set a “target to finance and facilitate more than $2.5 trillion over 10 years — including $1 trillion for green activities — to advance long-term solutions that address climate change and contribute to sustainable development.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar, State Updates

Ohio in the running for $2.7 billion sheet mill

Nucor, a steelmaker based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has named Ohio as one of three possible sites for a $2.7 billion sheet mill, Crain’s Cleveland reports. The company is also looking at locations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for the mill that will “have the capacity to produce 3 million tons of steel annually,” according to the article. The mill will be geographically positioned “to serve customers in the Midwest and Northeast markets and will have a significantly lower carbon footprint than nearby competitors.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required). 

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

Nearly $1 billion magnesium plant bringing 200 full-time jobs to Cadiz

Western Magnesium will invest nearly $1 billion in a proposed 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Cadiz Industrial Park, creating 200 full-time and 500 part-time jobs, reports. Sam Ataya, the company’s executive vice president and CEO, “noted this will be the first magnesium plant built in the United States in the last 50 years,” according to the article. Magnesium is used in the automotive and aviation industries. Western Magnesium plans “to use a continuous silicothermic extraction technology” that reduces energy costs and is environmentally friendly. The company worked with the Harrison County Improvement Corp. and JobsOhio to find a site for the facility. For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

More than 100,000 Ohioans work in clean energy jobs, report shows

A report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the Clean Energy Trust shows the clean energy and vehicles sectors currently employ more than 103,400 Ohioans, according to a recent The Hannah Report article. Clean Jobs Midwest’s Ohio Fact Sheet shows “[t]he biggest sector of Ohio’s clean energy industry is energy efficiency, accounting for nearly 71 percent of the region’s clean energy jobs,” at 73,291. The fact sheet also outlines the gains in advanced transportation as “automakers and their suppliers continue to shift to electric vehicles,” noting electric vehicle (EV) jobs grew by 8.9 percent, “and are poised for future growth with supportive policies and significant commitments to EVs by major vehicle manufactures like Ford and GM and their suppliers.” To see the complete Clean Jobs Midwest Ohio Fact Sheet, click here

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates