Ohio leads Midwest in solar jobs, second overall in clean energy jobs

As the number of Americans working in clean-energy jobs approaches 600,000, Ohio and Michigan “are home to a large portion” of that workforce, The Toledo Blade reports. Ohio “leads the Midwest” in solar with 8,719 jobs, and last year “experienced a 4.6 percent growth in clean energy jobs,” according to a recently released report. The 2017 Clean Jobs Midwest report, compiled by Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs, shows the “Midwest added more than 30,000 clean energy jobs last year,” with 4,661 of those in Ohio, according to The Blade. While Ohio “leads the Midwest in clean energy manufacturing jobs,” the state has fallen behind in wind energy since the 2014 legislation that created “the most restrictive” turbine setback limits in the country. That restriction could be costing Ohio billions (see our June 7, 2017 blog post). Gail Parson, Environmental Entrepreneurs spokesperson Gail Parson said that “gets back to why policies matter so much, but the clean energy march is progressing.” For more, read the full article

Manufacturing, Logistics & Transp., Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

Ohio ranked 6th nationwide for distributed wind capacity

The state of Ohio “is reflecting wind-based power’s rapid and sustained growth” as the wind industry continues to add capacity nationwide, The Morning Journal reports. Wind market reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy show Ohio “ranks 6th nationwide in total wind capacity deployed in distributed applications, with 42.1 megawatts installed between 2003 and 2016,” according to the article. Ohio “installed 102 megawatts of utility-scale wind capacity — capacity from wind farms used for bulk power” in 2016. Wind energy represented “27 percent of all energy capacity additions” in America last year. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Wind

Lake Erie 20.7-MW wind turbine project has formal hearing scheduled for November

The Ohio Power Siting Board has scheduled a formal public hearing on the proposed Icebreaker wind turbine project off the shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland.com reports. The board “wants to hear the public’s opinion” of the project; anyone may testify at the November 8 hearing in Cleveland City Council chambers. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will hold an “informational open house” on September 6 at the Lakewood Women’s Club Pavilion. The DOE recently released “a preliminary environmental assessment of the project” that concludes “the project’s construction and operation will have minor or negligible impacts on the lake, on bats, migrating birds and insects,” according to the article. The $126-million demonstration project (see our February 17, 2017 blog post) is expected to employ “more than 500 people” and “pump more than $80 million into the local economy.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Wind

Icebreaker wind project “clears regulatory hurdle,” taking “major step forward”

The first freshwater wind farm “took a major step forward” to becoming reality as the Ohio Power Siting Board issued a letter saying Icebreaker Windpower Inc.’s application to build the project is now complete, CompositesWorld reports. The application for the “six-turbine, 20.7-MW demonstration project” to be located 8-10 miles northwest of Cleveland will now be processed. Dr. Lorry Wagner, president of Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), said, “[w]e are confident that our application demonstrates conclusively” that Icebreaker “will not only have minimal adverse impact on fish and wildlife but will also create jobs, boost the local and regional economy and provide a local source of clean energy.” Cleveland.com reports that the goal of the $126-million project is “to prove it can be done and can stand up to shifting lake ice, opening the door to large future developments.” For more, read the full CompositesWorld and Cleveland.com articles. 

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Wind

AEP CEO says $4.5B wind farm investment is less risky than building coal plants

Columbus electric utility American Electric Power Company Inc. (AEP) plans to spend $4.5 billion on “the largest single-site wind farm in America,” Columbus Business First reports. While “[t]he project holds risk,” AEP CEO Nick Akins said, “the risks associated with spending $4.5 billion on the 800-turbine Oklahoma project are still less than those associated with building traditional power plants.” According to Akins, “if you built a central-station generation like a coal unit . . . it would be as big or bigger, but much more risky,” the article reports. A new American Wind Energy Association report shows that “[d]evelopment and construction of wind projects rose 40 percent in second-quarter 2017 compared to a year ago.” For more, read the full article.  

Renewable Energy, Wind

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

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

U.S. wind industry invested over $14B in 2016, adding 15,000 jobs

For the second straight year, the U.S. wind industry installed more than 8 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power in 2016, adding jobs “over nine times faster than the overall economy,” nawindpower.com reports. The industry invested over $14 billion “in new wind farms built in rural America” and added nearly 15,000 jobs in 2016.  A report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) shows U.S. wind generation “grew nearly 19% during 2016, and as of the start of this year, it provides 5.5% of the nation’s electricity,” according to the article. Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, “last year, wind energy became America’s No. 1 source of renewable generating capacity, further advancing U.S. energy security.” Kiernan also said the wind industry is “on the path to reliably supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind
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