New 1.3M SF distribution center will consolidate Scotts Miracle Gro’s logistics

Scotts Miracle Gro is investing $2.9 million to build “a 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center near its Marysville headquarters” that will create 40 to 50 new jobs, Columbus Business First reports. The building “will include 10,000 square feet of office space, with the remaining 1.29 million square feet to be utilized for product storage,” replacing five locations Scotts operates across Central Ohio, according to the article. Scotts Chief Communications Officer Tom Matthews said those current sites are “operated by third-party logistics providers, so the company did not own or lease them,” and Scotts is “working to optimize our entire supply chain network to ensure we’re operating as efficiently as we can.” The new facility “aims to reduce trucking and the use of fossil fuels, while also adding new capacity and distribution capabilities for Scotts.” Crawford Hoying is developing the project, and Contegra Construction is building the distribution center, which is “about 70% complete” and expected to open this summer. For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

Economic Development, Environmental, State Updates

Local government incentives available under Inflation Reduction Act

Federal energy policy is making many new incentives available for local governments to fund energy-related assets. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted in 2022, established a set of energy-related asset categories that are now being directly subsidized by the federal government. Under the IRA, nearly any advanced or renewable energy asset constructed by a local government is eligible for some kind of federal cash subsidy. For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Federal Updates, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar

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