Several groups helping make Northeast Ohio greener

Businesses and nonprofits in Northeast Ohio are increasingly looking to reduce energy costs and lessen their environmental impact; environmentalists and other advocates say several organizations are helping make that happen, Cleveland.com reports. KeyBank’s Key4Green business segment is “a group of bankers who understand the (renewable energy) industry, and they help clients understand tax implications and the tax credits available,” the article reports. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation is in the permitting process to build six offshore wind turbines several miles off the Lake Erie coast (see our August 25, 2017 blog post). Rust Belt Riders “collect food waste that would normally go into the garbage and distribute it” to urban farmers and community gardeners to use as fertilizer, diverting the waste from landfills. The Cleveland 2030 District is a nonprofit that “helps building owners and property managers reduce their electricity use and lower CO2 emissions.” For more, read the full article.  

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Renewable Energy, Wind

Cincinnati ranks in top five solar cities in Midwest

Environment Ohio's Shining Cities 2018 report shows Cincinnati is "the leading solar city" in Ohio as well as one of the "top five solar cities in the Midwest," Soapbox Cincinnati reports. The report categorizes Cincinnati as a "Solar Leader," meaning the city has between 25 and 50 watts of solar photovoltaics (PV) installed per capita. "Solar Leader" is the second-highest designation a city can earn. For more, read the full article or click here for the full report.

Renewable Energy, Solar

Plummeting costs for wind, solar and battery technology threaten coal and gas

The economic case for coal and gas power generation faces “a mounting threat” as the costs for wind, solar and battery technology see “spectacular reductions,” new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) shows, according to a recent article in nawindpower.com. A BNEF report on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) “finds that fossil-fuel power is facing an unprecedented challenge in all three roles it performs in the energy mix — the supply of bulk generation, the supply of dispatchable generation and the provision of flexibility,” the article reports. Wind and solar are becoming a bigger threat for bulk generation, as their LCOEs have reduced due to falling capital costs, increased efficiency and competitive auctions. The pairing of wind and solar power with battery storage allows those renewable sources of generation to smooth output, challenging new coal and gas on dispatchable power. In flexibility, stand-alone batteries are starting to compete with open-cycle gas plants on price. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission, Wind

Bricker involved in Cleveland-area solar farm development

As announced by Columbus Business First (subscription required), IGS Energy of Dublin, Ohio, will build a large solar farm on former landfill property near Cleveland. The solar farm will spread across 17 acres and will consist of over 35,000 panels – the largest in the state. Energy generated from the panels will be used by Cuyahoga County to “power about 5 percent of 16 county government buildings.” Bricker attorneys represented Cuyahoga County in the transaction, closing $10 million financing for the project. Likewise, the firm negotiated several related agreements, including a 30-year power purchase agreement. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2018. 

Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar

Wind farm will be Huron County’s largest economic development project

Huron County commissioners gave unanimous approval for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program for the Emerson Creek Wind farm, which will be the largest economic development project in the county, the Norwalk Reflector reports. The 120-turbine wind farm will be located in Huron and Erie counties, and will produce enough electricity to power about 94,000 homes. The PILOT program establishes an annual service payment of $9,000 per megawatt of electricity installed for Huron and Erie counties plus various townships and schools. Huron County Commissioner Skip Wilde said the wind farm is projected to bring in $4.5 million in annual revenue to the community. Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy, a utility-scale renewable energy developer, is developing several projects in Ohio including Emerson Creek, with a combined private investment of $2.6 billion and 690 construction and operating jobs. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Wind

Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act would help train offshore wind workforce

Three Congressional lawmakers recently introduced the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act to support the education and training of offshore wind workers, nawindpower.com reports. Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass), Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass), and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz) said the new federal grant program will assist state and local governments, colleges and universities, unions, and nonprofits to develop health and safety programs, curricula, and internships to develop an offshore wind workforce. The bill prioritizes “grants to community colleges, organizations that service minority populations, and those helping workers from other industries transition to the offshore wind industry.” Rep. Grijalva said, “[w]ind power is a huge part of building the cleaner, more sustainable economy we all deserve, and it can play an even bigger role with the right support.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Wind

Fifth Third plans to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp recently became the first bank and first Fortune 500 company “to contract for 100 percent renewable power through a single new project,” The Toledo Blade reports. The company announced a power purchase agreement that will result in the construction of a $200-million, 80-megawatt solar project in North Carolina, which will generate about 194,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually. That will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 144,000 metric tons each year, equivalent to emissions produced by 30,800 passenger cars or 21,600 homes. Scott Hassell, Fifth Third’s vice president and director of environmental sustainability, said the company has been working for years to increase sustainability and energy efficiency. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar, Sustainability

University of Dayton adds 4,026 solar panels as part of ongoing sustainability efforts

Thousands of solar panels will be placed on the roof of Fitz Hall and the front lawn of Daniel J. Curran Place on the University of Dayton (UD) campus, as part of the school’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint and save on energy costs, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The 1.26-megawatt installation will provide nearly 10 percent of the two buildings’ power consumption, as well as power electric car-charging stations. The solar arrays will offset about 1 percent of campus-wide carbon emissions, the equivalent of annual carbon dioxide emissions from 1.4 million pounds of burned coal, 140 homes, or conserving 3,010 barrels of oil. Milford-based Melink Corporation will engineer and construct the arrays, and will sell the electricity to UD. The university expects to save approximately $300,000 over the 30-year lifespan of the panels. For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar

After a strong 2017 for renewables mergers & acquisitions, 2018 could be even better

Despite uncertainty in the renewables sector going in to 2017, last year ended with some of the strongest wind and solar mergers and acquisitions activity to date, and 2018 could be even stronger, nawindpower.com reports. While there has been an increase in the number of competitors in the U.S. renewables market, an imbalance in supply versus demand has “resulted in highly competitive auction processes and evolving perspectives on project life and merchant pricing in order to maintain competitiveness,” according to the article. Increasing competition to acquire projects highlighted the scarcity of quality teams to develop projects, leading market participants to move quickly to “secure both development teams and project pipelines.” Nawindpower.com expects the trends from 2017 to continue, with the number of investors entering the renewable energy market continuing to increase while energy companies increasingly focus on renewable energy to replace retiring coal and nuclear plants. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

Competing proposals: ease wind energy industry restrictions, or add more hurdles?

The future of wind energy development in Ohio could depend on which of two current proposals for changing industry requirements prevails, The Morning Journal reports. Development of new, large-scale wind projects have stalled in the state since HB 483, which increased setback guidelines for turbines, became law in 2014 (see our June 18, 2014 blog post). Wind-energy backers are proposing new legislation (see our February 27, 2018 blog post) that would allow counties to permit construction of wind turbines closer to property lines. However, a proposal before a state board that regulates wind farm sites seeks to force wind developers to obtain approval from more property owners before building turbines—adding yet another hurdle for any new projects. The American Wind Energy Association called that proposal “a death sentence” for Ohio’s future wind-energy development. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Wind
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