FirstEnergy says nuclear subsidies are “crucial” for continued operation

Whether or not FirstEnergy retains ownership of the two nuclear power plants in Ohio, customer-paid subsidies are crucial to keep those plants operating, according to company president and CEO Chuck Jones, Cleveland.com reports. Jones said FirstEnergy will “continue to press Ohio lawmakers” for the legislation to provide that financial support (see our May 23, 2017 blog post), calling it “the right thing to do for the state of Ohio.” Without that Zero Emission Nuclear Resource program, Jones said “he doubted anyone could operate” the Perry and Davis-Besse plants due to competition from plants powered by natural gas, and even wind power at times, according to the article. Jones “thinks the switch particularly to gas turbine power plants could create both national security and economic development disasters,” due to a “very unsophisticated” bulk gas system that does not have the “redundancy that the bulk electric system has.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Sustainability, Transmission

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will install state’s largest solar array on Polaris building

JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to start construction this fall on a 20-megawatt solar array on its largest building worldwide, the McCoy Center at Polaris, The Columbus Dispatch reports. The array, which will be the “largest rooftop solar array in the state,” is part of the bank’s plans “to rely exclusively on renewable energy by 2020,” according to the article. The generating capacity of the array is “about two-thirds of the electricity needed to run the building.” Chase also plans to invest $200 billion by 2025 “to finance clean-energy projects for corporate and investor clients around the world.” Jamie Dimon, Chase’s CEO, said in a statement, “[t]his global investment leverages the firm’s resources and our people’s expertise to make our operations more energy efficient and provide clients with the resources they need to develop more sustainable products and services.” For more, read the full article

 

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar, Sustainability

O’Bleness Hospital’s energy efficient lighting upgrade provides multiple benefits

A “major overhaul” of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital’s lighting system will not only save money on energy costs, but also improve safety and sustainability, The Athens Messenger reports. The hospital converted all of its lights to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures that will use one-third of the energy conventional lights use, according to the article. O’Bleness President Mark Seckinger said the upgrade will not only lower energy costs, but also improve the facility for patients, enhance campus safety and “allow us to be responsible environmental stewards.” The conversion to LED lights “will prevent 775 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere,” an amount equal to what a passenger vehicle would produce driving 1.8 million miles. It is estimated that “the parking lot will become 50 percent brighter at night,” increasing visibility for staff, patients and visitors. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Sustainability

Energy Works and Finance Authority partner to offer green energy financing

Two local programs are working together to promote sustainability by offering low-interest loans to Franklin County businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments for green energy upgrades. Franklin County Commissioners established Energy Works in 2015 to help keep Columbus green and attract new businesses. The Commissioners plan to commit $1.5 million annually for five years for energy upgrades to aging buildings as well as other green energy projects. The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority’s Energy Loan Fund is an economic development tool providing financing for energy efficiency improvements. The Finance Authority uses funds from Energy Works as well as its own funds to provide low-interest loans ranging from $200,000 to $6 million for projects such as PNC Plaza’s (see our March 17, 2016 blog post) and Trinity Lutheran Seminary’s energy upgrades.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Project Finance, Sustainability

Cuyahoga County joins Compact of Mayors to combat climate change

Cuyahoga County has joined “the world’s largest cooperative effort among local government leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, track progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change,” Cleveland.com reports. Cleveland is one of 140 cities in the United States to join the Compact of Mayors, which “includes 658 cities worldwide,” according to the article. Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said, “[w]e must do all we can to protect the health of the citizens of our county, both today and into the future.” Over the next six months, Cuyahoga County will “measure in detail the greenhouse gases that come out of the county ‘and work with partner agencies and governments including the City of Cleveland to set greenhouse gas reduction levels, strategies to achieve the goals and ways for our local region to deal with the issues that Climate Change presents to us,’” said Mike Foley, the county’s Director of Sustainability director. For more, read the full article

Environmental, Sustainability

OSU selects partner for energy management in $1.165 billion deal

Ohio State University (OSU) trustees recently approved “a $1.165 billion deal to hand its energy systems over to a private company,” Gongwer Ohio reports. The 50-year lease of the university’s energy systems management was awarded to ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure, one of three teams that made it to the final round of bidding on the project (see our March 24, 2017 blog post). Gongwer reports that “[i]n addition to that upfront $1 billion payment, the deal includes a $150 million commitment to specific academic areas and the creation of a $50 million Energy Advancement and Innovation Center.” OSU’s annual costs will include a “$45 million fixed fee to rise with inflation, a $9.2 million starting operating fee and a variable fee tied to capital investments.” 

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, Sustainability

Anheuser-Busch commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, “has announced a commitment to secure 100% of the company’s purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025,” nawindpower.com reports. AB InBev “expects to secure 75%–85% of electricity through direct power purchase agreements” and the final 15%–25% from “on-site technologies such as solar panels.” AB InBev’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity will make it “the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the consumer goods sector globally and will reduce the company’s operational carbon footprint by 30%.” This reduction is “the equivalent of taking nearly 500,000 cars off the road.”

This recent announcement is in line with Anheuser-Busch’s previous commitments to sustainability and efficiency, including its previous $18 million update to the Columbus brewery (see our July 1, 2015 blog post). For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar, Sustainability

Three teams from around the world in final running for OSU energy privatization

Two years after The Ohio State University (OSU) first announced its plans to explore privatizing its energy management (see our March 5, 2015 blog post), the university has identified three teams bidding on the project, including companies headquartered in Canada, Paris, and Australia, Columbus Business First reports. The teams “are made of a finance arm and an energy-operating company because of the complexity” of the project. According to the article, the winning bidder “would have to meet sustainability goals and the $150 million in what the university calls ‘academic collaboration investment,’ including $50 million apiece for research and philanthropy such as funding faculty positions.”

The three teams bidding for the opportunity to privatize OSU’s energy assets are Brookfield Asset Management and Enwave District Energy, Engie North America and Axium Infrastructure, and Macquarie Corporate Holdings and Veolia Energy Operating Services. For more, read the full article.

Sustainability

OSU President Drake says energy privatization needed to meet sustainability goals

Appearing on a recent episode of WOSU’s “All Sides with Ann Fisher,” Ohio State University (OSU) President Michael Drake said the university’s plan to privatize its energy management “is necessary to reduce the campus’s carbon emissions and energy footprint,” thelantern.com reports. OSU began exploring the possibility of outsourcing its energy management to save money and increase energy efficiency over two years ago (see our March 5, 2015 blog post). Drake said the university needs a partner that can help them “achieve our sustainability goals” and that he hopes “the university becomes more efficient in the way it uses energy through the privatized arrangement,” according to the article. “We have certain buildings now that are too hot in the winter and too cold in the summer . . . I think we can just do a better job at managing our energy,” he said. Leading experts from around the world have expressed interest in partnering with OSU in this project (see our November 4, 2016 blog post). For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Sustainability

OMA Energy Guide details five game-changing Ohio energy projects

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association recently released a report on what it considers to be the top five energy projects currently under development in Ohio, including a look at how each project impacts Ohio energy consumers' bottom lines. These projects represent more than $30 billion in investment over the past five years, and have afforded Ohio residents lower energy prices.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Shale, Sustainability, Wind
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