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

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

Advancing Grid Storage Act will promote clean energy storage and grid reliability

Members of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee have introduced an act that will create clean-energy jobs and “help strengthen the country’s energy infrastructure,” nawindpower.com reports. Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Advancing Grid Storage Act, which “would accelerate investments in the deployment of energy storage systems,” which in turn will “create high-skill, sustainable jobs and will also help families and businesses save on their energy costs,” according to the article. A press release from the senators calls energy storage “key to improving our electricity grid,” saying “[a]dvanced storage technologies help match the energy demands of consumers and businesses in a cost-effective manner with minimal waste and strengthen the existing electricity transmission and distribution system.” For more, read the full article.

Sustainability, Transmission

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
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