Updates to Green Cincinnati Plan include large solar project

City of Cincinnati officials recently met with residents at the Cincinnati Zoo, “also known as the greenest zoo in America,” to present and gather recommendations to improve the city’s Green Cincinnati Plan, soapboxmedia.com reports. The plan “focuses on many different areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation” and climate adaptation among others, according to the article. One major update to the plan is a new solar installation with the goal of building “the largest city-owned solar energy array,” according to Oliver Kroner, the city’s sustainability coordinator. The proposed solar arrays on city-owned properties at the Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Lunken Airport and the Center Hill landfill would produce 25 megawatts of power, which “could cover 20 percent of the city’s total energy.” Cincinnati “hopes to convert to 100 percent renewable energy” by 2035. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar, Sustainability

Cincinnati’s top ranking for sustainability could help city win Amazon’s HQ2

Site Selection Magazine’s latest rankings could give Cincinnati an edge in the competition for Amazon’s $5-billion second headquarters location search, Cincinnati.com reports. The magazine ranked Cincinnati “No. 1 for environmental sustainability,” which “might be the city’s biggest strength in its competition with leading contenders” to become the home of Amazon’s HQ2. That project is expected to bring “[a]s many as 50,000 high-paying jobs” and “tens of billions in potential investment in the surrounding communities,” according to the article. Amazon “has made environmental sustainability a major priority,” and “last year was the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the United States.” Site Selection highlighted “the University of Cincinnati’s new LEED gold-certified $120 million Carl H. Lindner College of Business” and Proctor & Gamble’s “investment and recycling and eliminating manufacturing waste” as examples of the city’s sustainability agenda. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Sustainability

Second Lordstown power plant approved: 940-MW Trumbull Energy Center

The Ohio Power Siting Board recently approved construction of a second power plant to be built in Lordstown, the 940-megawatt (MW) Trumbull Energy Center, The Business Journal reports. Clean Energy Future will build the plant; the company also owns the Lordstown Energy Center already under construction in the village (see our October 6, 2015 blog post). The Power Siting Board also approved Clean Energy Future’s request to increase the capacity of the Lordstown Energy Center from 800 MW to 940 MW. Clean Energy Future-Trumbull “plans to begin construction on the second plant in November” and begin commercial operation in 2020. For more, read the full article

Transmission

Shelby County Recycling Center running on 50% solar power with new array

A Tipp City renewable energy company gained “an opportunity to shine light on its offerings close to its own backyard” with a recycling center’s solar project, the Dayton Daily News reports. OGW Energy Resources “installed a solar array system now being used to help power” the Shelby County Recycling Center in Sidney, according to the article. The solar system “is basically a small electric power plant” that produces “grid tied alternating current or A/C,” said Ray Davis, president of OGW Energy Resources. The project, “funded in part with a $70,067 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency,” is estimated to generate 50% of the facility’s energy needs. David said the project will help reduce the center’s operating costs. For more, read the full article

Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar

Advancing Grid Storage Act will promote clean energy storage and grid reliability

Members of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee have introduced an act that will create clean-energy jobs and “help strengthen the country’s energy infrastructure,” nawindpower.com reports. Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Advancing Grid Storage Act, which “would accelerate investments in the deployment of energy storage systems,” which in turn will “create high-skill, sustainable jobs and will also help families and businesses save on their energy costs,” according to the article. A press release from the senators calls energy storage “key to improving our electricity grid,” saying “[a]dvanced storage technologies help match the energy demands of consumers and businesses in a cost-effective manner with minimal waste and strengthen the existing electricity transmission and distribution system.” For more, read the full article.

Sustainability, Transmission

Ohio General Motors plants will run on 100% renewable energy by end of 2018

General Motors Corp. recently announced plans for all of its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities to “meet their electricity needs through 100 percent renewable energy” by the end of 2018, according to a press release. The Business Journal reports General Motors “is buying 200 megawatts of wind energy from wind farms in Ohio and Illinois.” According to the article, wind power “will be used at the Lordstown Assembly, Defiance Casting Operations, Parma Metal Center and Toledo Transmission Plant in Ohio” as well as facilities in Indiana. The auto manufacturer “also uses solar power at 26 plants, including Lordstown,” according to The Business Journal. The article also reports that GM plans to “generate electricity for all of its plants on-site by 2050.” For more, read the full press release and article

Manufacturing, Logistics & Transp., Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

Bringing solar power to more farms: Third Sun partners with DFA

Ohio-based Third Sun Solar and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have “teamed up to help bring solar panel technology to more DFA member farms,” OhioFarmer reports. The partnership “will provide DFA members in its Mideast Area with access to project planning, development, support and discounted pricing for on-farm solar power programs,” according to the article. David Darr, president of farm services at DFA, said “we hope to make solar technology more mainstream as the economic and environmental opportunities for farmers are incredibly beneficial.” Kibler Dairy Farm in Warren, Ohio, for example, “recently worked with Third Sun Solar to install 480 solar panels at their family farm,” a project that is expected to produce 163.2 kilowatts of power and provide more than $23,000 in savings during the first year. Third Sun Solar co-founder Michelle Greenfield said the increased durability of today’s solar panels makes solar “far more attainable for farmers.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar

SB 188 would allow more wind turbines, bringing billions in investment to Ohio

State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) is making another push to allow more wind turbine construction in Ohio with his proposal, Senate Bill 188 (SB 188), which would “partially undo changes” to previous legislation that significantly increased setback limits for turbines, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Those changes took effect when Governor Kasich signed HB 483 in 2014 (see our June 18, 2014 blog post), creating some of the most restrictive wind turbine setback limits in the country. Hite “tried to make the changes earlier this year through an amendment to the state budget (see our July 5, 2017 blog post),” but that amendment was removed from the budget bill. Supporters of SB 188, including the American Wind Energy Association, “say the changes will lead to $4.2 billion worth of investment that is now bottled up because some projects are not economically viable with current rules.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Wind

PUCO chairman wants to “change the dialogue” on energy policy in Ohio

Asim Haque wants to “change the dialogue” about energy policy in Ohio; the chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) wants the commission to focus on electricity distribution, not generation, Columbus Business First reports. The PUCO “kickstarted” the effort to making that change “with a days-long conference called PowerForward (see our March 13, 2017 blog post),” according to the article. PowerForward “is a review of new tech and regulatory innovations with an eye toward how the changes will affect the power grid. . . . the wonkish embodiment of what Haque wants the PUCO to become — to focus on how power is delivered and used by customers.” Haque “said he has made a point of reaching out to lawmakers about energy issues.” He “sees his job as not trying to influence lawmakers,” but rather “to act as an adviser who helps them see both sides of issues and peel away the layers of lobbyist speak.” For more, read the full article.

Miscellaneous

Ohio leads Midwest in solar jobs, second overall in clean energy jobs

As the number of Americans working in clean-energy jobs approaches 600,000, Ohio and Michigan “are home to a large portion” of that workforce, The Toledo Blade reports. Ohio “leads the Midwest” in solar with 8,719 jobs, and last year “experienced a 4.6 percent growth in clean energy jobs,” according to a recently released report. The 2017 Clean Jobs Midwest report, compiled by Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs, shows the “Midwest added more than 30,000 clean energy jobs last year,” with 4,661 of those in Ohio, according to The Blade. While Ohio “leads the Midwest in clean energy manufacturing jobs,” the state has fallen behind in wind energy since the 2014 legislation that created “the most restrictive” turbine setback limits in the country. That restriction could be costing Ohio billions (see our June 7, 2017 blog post). Gail Parson, Environmental Entrepreneurs spokesperson Gail Parson said that “gets back to why policies matter so much, but the clean energy march is progressing.” For more, read the full article

Manufacturing, Logistics & Transp., Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind
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