PUCO ruling likely to reduce credits to net metering customers

Some Ohio electric utility customers who generate power through solar panels or other renewable energy systems may soon receive less credit for doing so, The Columbus Dispatch reports. A recent Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ruling is likely to reduce the amount that electric utilities credit their net metering customers who send excess energy back to the grid. Under the revised regulations, credits for excess generation will be calculated based on the energy-only component of the utility’s standard service offer. That change means the credit to AEP customers, for example, could “be reduced by about 30 percent.” Trish Demeter, vice president for policy at the Ohio Environmental Council, called the ruling “a step back.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission

Financing for 100-MW Northwest Ohio Wind Project finalized

A $200-million project that will add “about 40 new wind turbines” in Paulding County will sell 100% of its energy output to General Motors, Paulding Progress reports. Starwood Energy Group Global LLC, “a leading private investment firm focused on energy infrastructure,” recently announced “it has finalized agreements to finance and construct the 100-megawatt (MW) Northwest Ohio Wind Project,” according to the article. An “affiliate of Citi has committed to provide tax equity for the project” which “is contracted to sell 100 percent of its output to General Motors pursuant to a long-term power purchase agreement.” Citi’s global head of alternative energy finance, Marshal Salant, said the “innovative partnership highlights Citi’s commitment to sustainable growth and to financing the development of clean renewable energy infrastructure.” For more, read the full article

Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Wind

Stark Area Regional Transit Authority official embraces fuel-cell technology

Kent State University’s Stark campus recently hosted the North American Fuel Cell Bus Conference, where transit officials and company executives discussed “fuel cell energy’s progress and where it goes from here,” CantonRep.com reports. The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) CEO and Executive Director, Kirt Conrad, believes fuel-cell technology “could boost the local economy if enough companies that serve roles in the fuel cell industry supply chain grow or relocate” to the area, according to the article. SARTA has “the largest fuel-cell bus fleet east of the Mississippi River,” and “expects to have at least 13 hydrogen fuel cell buses within the next year.” Conrad “has hosted events locally for people who work in the fuel cell industry to promote Stark County as a future site for companies” involved in the supply chain. For more, read the full article.

Manufacturing, Logistics & Transp., Renewable Energy

Bird groups join forces to challenge proposed Lake Erie wind turbines

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) are challenging an environmental assessment of the proposed wind turbine project off the shore of Lake Erie (see our August 25, 2017 blog post), the News Herald reports. “The BSBO and the ABC reject the assessment’s claim that the planned Icebreaker wind energy facility would have ‘little to no impact’ on birds and bats,” but instead say the turbines “would pose a significant threat to wildlife,” according to the article. The two groups previously filed a lawsuit against a wind turbine project at Camp Perry (see our July 17, 2017 blog post). Among the concerns the groups listed, they say “[t]he assessment erroneously concludes that migratory birds and bats avoid crossing Lake Erie,” while studies show “large numbers of migratory birds and bats” do fly across the lake. The ABC and BSBO “hope that these concerns will be reflected in any future assessments of the environmental impact of Icebreaker and other proposed offshore wind energy development in the Great Lakes.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Wind

Village of Yellow Springs unveils 6-acre solar array

The village of Yellow Springs became a little greener recently when it “unveiled its newest source of energy — 3,024 solar panels tied into the grid on about 6 and a half acres of village owned land,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The solar array “brings the village’s total energy supply to 93 percent renewable energy sources,” according to the article. Village Manager Patti Bates said she and Electric Superintendent Johnnie Burns “started talking about the idea of the array in late 2014 to add more green energy to our portfolio and reduce the amount of energy we buy off the market.” Yellow Springs hired Dovetail Solar and wind to install the project, and entered into “a 25-year lease agreement with AEP Onsite Partners, LLC,” with an option to buy in six years. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar

Solar, wind, and natural gas groups unite to oppose DOE proposal to support coal and nuclear plants

An alliance of 20 trade organizations representing wind, natural gas, and solar power industries is voicing opposition to the Department of Energy (DOE)’s proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, Cleveland.com reports. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal “argues that the large, old coal and nuclear plants, which run 24 hours a day, add ‘resiliency’ to the grid” that protects it during weather disruptions or terrorist attacks, according to the article. The trade groups counter that the Trump administration has not demonstrated “problems with the existing system,” and that the proposal would increase costs to consumers. The Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has also criticized the DOE plan (see our November 2, 2017 blog post). For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission, Wind

Officials from Lake, Ottawa Counties meet with DOE to discuss impact of nuclear plants on grid stability

Lake and Ottawa county commissioners met with Department of Energy (DOE) staff members recently to discuss “the need for timely intervention” to avoid closure of the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear energy plants in Ohio, among other issues related to the plants, The News-Herald reports. Additional topics included “the Zero Emission Credit legislation currently under discussion in the Ohio legislature” and the nuclear plants’ impact on the electricity grid, according to the article. In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), DOE Secretary Rick Perry said, “America’s greatness depends on a reliable, resilient electric grid powered by an ‘all of the above’ mix of generation sources.” Perry also said the grid’s resiliency is “being threatened by premature retirement of these fuel-secure baseload resources.” “Baseload” refers to nuclear and coal-powered plants, because they use material stored on site, “which reduces the risk of interruptions in fuel supply.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Transmission

Cincinnati mayor’s goal: city government powered with 100% renewable energy

Installing solar arrays that would generate 25 megawatts of energy is the first step in Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s plan to eventually power the city government with 100% renewable energy, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The array, covering 125 to 150 acres (see our October 20, 2017 blog post), “would be the largest onsite municipal solar array in the country,” according to the article. Cranley “believes that by bringing in a private company – which can take advantage of federal tax credits where the government cannot – to build the array, the city will end up paying less for electricity than it does now.” The installation “would provide enough energy to power the city’s parks, recreation, parking, police, fire, health and administration buildings” and “reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 25,000 tons a year . . . the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars off the road.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar

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
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