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

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

Landfill-based solar farm will reduce Cuyahoga County’s energy costs

Construction is set to begin April 15th on a new 4-megawatt (MW) solar farm built on a portion of a former Brooklyn, Ohio landfill—the project will save Cuyahoga County about $3 million in power costs over 25 years, Cleveland.com reports. Columbus-based IGS Solar will use approximately 17 acres of the closed landfill to construct the 35,000-panel solar array. IGS contracted with Perrysburg-based First Solar to provide the needed panels. Further, the panels themselves will be mounted on a racking system developed and manufactured by Cincinnati-based RBI Solar. Mike Foley, Cuyahoga County Sustainability Director, estimated that electricity should be flowing by mid-summer over a new transmission line currently being installed by Cleveland Public Power. IGS estimates the solar farm will produce about 5 million kilowatt-hours annually—enough to power 500 homes. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission

Study says 100% global renewable energy with stable grid is possible

There are methods that could make renewable energy reliable enough “to power at least 139 countries,” a new study by researchers in the United States and Denmark finds, according to a recent nawindpower.com article. Mark Z. Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley and Aalborg University in Denmark, propose ways to overcome the inconsistencies of wind, water and solar power and the “continuously fluctuating demand for energy” in the paper recently published in Renewable Energy, according to the article. The paper “builds on a previous study by Jacobson and colleagues that examined the ability of the grid to stay stable in the 48 contiguous states.” The new research includes excess energy-generation storage methods and “predictions of energy demands over time.” Computational modeling programs predicted future weather patterns and how much renewable energy could be produced from weather-related energy sources; the group was then able to predict how well more stable sources such as geothermal and hydroelectric power plants “could balance out the fluctuating energy to meet demands.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Sustainability, Wind

Record numbers in 2017 show clean energy is good for American economy

The growth of sustainable energy industries in 2017 “contributed to greater economic competitiveness, job creation and the expansion of the American economy,” according to findings in the sixth annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, nawindpower.com reports. The factbook is the result of “a comprehensive review of energy statistics” by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), according to the article. The 2018 edition found that renewable deployment “grew at a near-record pace” last year, with wind, solar and hydropower driving renewable generation “up from 15% to 18% of the total electricity mix in one year.” The energy efficiency sector “was the largest single employer within the sustainable energy sectors” with nearly 2.2 million jobs. The United States “remains globally competitive for energy-intensive industries, thanks to low industrial power prices,” and corporations are increasingly demanding clean energy and investing in energy efficiency. For more, read the full article or click here to read the full factbook. 

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar, Sustainability, Wind

State approves two “huge solar energy farms” that will be largest in Ohio

The Ohio Power Siting Board recently approved two projects that when completed will become “the largest solar farms in the state,” Columbus Business First reports. Together, the two solar-powered electric plants will generate 275 megawatts (MW) of energy, according to the article. Blue Planet Renewable Energy got approval to construct its 125-MW Hillcrest Solar I farm on 1,100 acres east of Cincinnati. The company “estimates that it will add 644 construction jobs and $43.3 million in earnings during construction and create 17 jobs and $1 million a year in earnings during operations.” Hardin Solar Energy received approval “to build a 150-megawatt energy plant” near Bowling Green. Hardin Solar “estimates the project will create 768 jobs that will generate $45.6 million in earnings during construction, and 13 long-term jobs that will generate $758,000 in annual earnings during operation.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar
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