Hudson considers adding solar panels to its electricity provider portfolio

The City of Hudson already “has solar panels on city-owned property . . . but could have a much larger solar presence” if a proposed project is finalized, the Hudson Hub-Times reports. Hudson’s electrical power consultant shared with City Council “a possible new solar project” that the “city could take part in to help with high peak energy days,” according to the article. John Courtney of Courtney & Associates, Hudson’s electric system consultant for Hudson Public Power (HPP), said a developer “could build and operate a Behind-The-Meter solar project for a municipality.” The city would pay only for the electrical power produced and “delivered to the city’s power grid.” Council member Casey Weinstein called the project “a great opportunity,” saying the city would “deliver power savings to HPP customers” while utilizing property “not suited for other development and contributing to keeping our air cleaner for our families.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission

Kent State investing $50 million in energy efficiency upgrades

Across all eight Kent State campuses, the university has invested “roughly $50 million so far” on energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, KentWired.com reports. The upgrades include “retrofitting lighting, replacing air handlers and installing energy efficient utility devices as well as utilizing renewable energy where possible,” according to the article. Michael Bruder, executive director of facilities planning and design, said the upgrades will pay for themselves through energy savings. “The money that we would have spent for energy that we save every year pays off a loan to do that work with the contractor. After that loan is paid off, we just continue to have those energy savings,” Bruder said. Kent State previously installed a solar system on the field house roof. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar

Plans for three large solar farms in Ohio would add 400 MW of solar power

Ohio’s solar-generation capacity may soon see a drastic increase, as two companies have proposed three new solar projects, Columbus Business First reports. Currently, the largest solar array in Ohio is the 20-MW Bowling Green Solar Facility that began operations in January 2017 (see our February 13, 2017 blog post). However, Invenergy Renewables and Blue Planet Renewable Energy are looking to change that. Invenergy Renewables “wants to build a 150-megawatt solar-powered electric generation facility” in Hardin County as well as a 125-megawatt solar farm in Vinton County. Invenergy “is pivoting to solar” in part due to “restrictive regulations against wind power” in the state (see our July 5, 2017 blog post). Blue Planet Renewable Energy has proposed a “125-megawatt solar array in Brown County.” The three proposed solar project would “add an additional 400 megawatts of solar” capacity to Ohio’s current approximate “172 megawatts from 2,260 solar installations.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar

Camp Perry wind turbine project “no longer moving forward”

Plans for a wind turbine at Camp Perry have been dropped in response to a lawsuit from two bird conservancy groups, the News Herald reports. Originally proposed in 2012, the $1.5-million wind turbine project was already halted once when the American Bird Conservatory and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory sent notice that they would file a lawsuit unless the military ceased its plans for the project. Last year, the Ohio Air National Guard then revived the project.
 
Now, however, the American Bird Conservatory and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court (see our March 20, 2017 blog post), arguing that “the project violated the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws.” The National Guard Bureau then responded to the lawsuit in June, informing the groups that the Air National Guard will “no longer be pursuing the construction of the turbine.” The conservancy groups “subsequently agreed to drop the lawsuit.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Wind

Ohio House removes wind setback compromise from proposed state budget

The Ohio House of Representatives has dropped a proposed reversal of stricter wind turbine setback requirements from the state budget bill, nawindpower.com reports. The setback limits were increased to 1,125 ft. from the property lines of the nearest adjacent property in 2014 (see our June 18, 2014 blog post), making them “among the country’s most restrictive,” according to the article. Andrew Gohn, eastern region policy director for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said, “House lawmakers . . . turned away economic growth by ignoring the business community’s plea to make Ohio attractive for companies wishing to power their facilities with renewable energy.” A recent AWEA study showed Ohio could gain $2 billion in capital investments and thousands of jobs by reversing the stricter limits (see our June 7, 2017 blog post). For more, read the full article

 

Renewable Energy, Wind

Solar system will save Newcomerstown money and generate income

The village and citizens of Newcomerstown will see a “major savings” of both cost and energy from a planned solar system, according to a recent TimesReporter.com article. Verde Solutions was scheduled to begin work on the project this month; the company’s Director of Renewables Chris Yurko says the solar system will save the village $133,680 annually. Those savings “will eventually benefit all citizens who are utilizing the waste water system,” according to the article. Additionally, the system “will also create an additional income for the village.” Yurko added that “Newcomerstown will be the first in the state of Ohio to use a solar system” to “operate their waste water system.” For more, read the full article

 

Renewable Energy, Solar

Average utility-scale solar price-per-watt falls below $1 for first time

The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report showed utility-scale solar systems “priced at an average of $.99 to $1.08/watt, a first in the industry,” UtilityDive reports. According to the report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “solar was the second largest source of new generating capacity additions brought on-line in the first quarter of the year, totaling 30%.” For the sixth consecutive quarter, more than 2 GW of solar was installed, with more than 1 GW of utility-scale capacity. SEIA’s president and CEO Abigail Ross Harper said, “[t]he solar market clearly remains on a strong upward trajectory . . . adding jobs 17 times faster than the U.S. economy and creating tens of billions of dollars in investment.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar

Federal Hocking solar project will supply 80 percent of energy for high school and middle school

A 704-kW solar panel array to be installed on the roofs of the Federal Hocking High School and Middle School will drastically reduce the facility’s electricity costs, The Athens Messenger reports. The array is part of the Solar ACCESS pilot project, a collaboration between UpGrade Ohio, Third Sun Solar and New Resource Solutions; the partnership “aims to increase access and participation in the solar economy for low or moderate income areas.” Solar ACCESS “was selected as one of 35 projects around the country in the U.S. Department of Energy’s ‘Solar in your community’ challenge,” according to the article. Federal Hocking Superintendent George Wood said the facility’s monthly electric costs are estimated to “go from $1,600–$1,700 down to about $200,” and that “[t]his investment will pay off for many, many years; both in dollars and in generation of clean energy.” 

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar

Reversing stricter wind turbine setback rules could gain Ohio $2 billion

A recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) study shows that Ohio could gain billions in investments and thousands of jobs if wind turbine setbacks were reduced, Gongwer Ohio reports. Renewable energy advocates are urging the Senate “to reduce the wind turbine setback through the budget process,” according to the article. AWEA’s study “projected Ohio could gain $2 billion in capital investments, 13,000 jobs and more than $660 million in tax payments to local governments and schools” if setback requirements were reduced. Local government and economic development groups say 2014 legislation that increased wind turbine setback requirements from 550 feet to 1,125 feet (see our June 18, 2014 blog post) “effectively killed new wind farm development” in the state. AWEA Deputy Director John Hensley said reversing that legislation could also bring in “$440 million in land lease payments to farmers and landowners over the next three decades,” and that “the economic benefit will just snowball from there.”

Renewable Energy, Wind

Wind and solar made up more than half of new U.S. capacity in 2017’s first quarter

Wind and solar power “provided more than half of the new electrical generating capacity added to the U.S. grid” during the first quarter of 2017, nawindpower.com reports. A new report from the SUN DAY Campaign, which cites statistics from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said wind and solar together contributed 50.84% of new capacity during that period. Additionally, renewable sources “now account for almost one-fifth (19.51%) of the nation’s total available installed generating capacity.” If growth rates continue at the current pace, “renewables should top 20% before the end of the year”; renewable generating capacity is “rapidly approaching that of coal (24.25%),” according to the group’s analysis. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind
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