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

Proposed Vinton County 125-MW solar project could generate revenue for area

Officials in Vinton County “are laying out the welcome mat” for a proposed solar farm that would generate tax revenue in addition to electricity, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Invenergy, a renewable energy company based in Chicago, “plans to build the 125-megawatt solar farm” on privately owned “reclaimed strip-mined land just outside McArthur,” according to the article. County Commissioners said the “value to Vinton County lies in the tax revenue the project would generate.” They “anticipate negotiating a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement” that would “generate $827,822 for county and local governments and the countywide school district, which would receive $389,902 of the annual total.” The proposed site of the project currently generates $11,717 in annual property taxes. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar

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

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

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

House follows Senate with bill calling for 100% clean energy by 2050

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate now have proposed versions of a “landmark” bill calling for the United States to transition from fossil fuels to “100% clean energy no later than 2050,” nawindpower.com reports. The House’s “100 by ’50 Act,” like the Senate bill, has seven core components: Greening the Grid, Electrifying the Energy Economy, Clean and Renewable Energy for All, Just Transition for Workers, Ending New Fossil Fuel Investments, Ensuring American Competitiveness, and Mobilizing American Resources. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), sponsor of the House bill, said in a press release, “[t]o remain a global economic leader, we must invest in renewable energy technology and fully embrace a cleaner, carbon-free future.” The National Congress of American Indians, Environment America and the Sierra Club all expressed support for the bill. For more, read the full article.

 

Environmental, Federal Climate Legislation, Renewable Energy

Hudson considers adding solar panels to its electricity provider portfolio

The City of Hudson already “has solar panels on city-owned property . . . but could have a much larger solar presence” if a proposed project is finalized, the Hudson Hub-Times reports. Hudson’s electrical power consultant shared with City Council “a possible new solar project” that the “city could take part in to help with high peak energy days,” according to the article. John Courtney of Courtney & Associates, Hudson’s electric system consultant for Hudson Public Power (HPP), said a developer “could build and operate a Behind-The-Meter solar project for a municipality.” The city would pay only for the electrical power produced and “delivered to the city’s power grid.” Council member Casey Weinstein called the project “a great opportunity,” saying the city would “deliver power savings to HPP customers” while utilizing property “not suited for other development and contributing to keeping our air cleaner for our families.” For more, read the full article.

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission

Kent State investing $50 million in energy efficiency upgrades

Across all eight Kent State campuses, the university has invested “roughly $50 million so far” on energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, KentWired.com reports. The upgrades include “retrofitting lighting, replacing air handlers and installing energy efficient utility devices as well as utilizing renewable energy where possible,” according to the article. Michael Bruder, executive director of facilities planning and design, said the upgrades will pay for themselves through energy savings. “The money that we would have spent for energy that we save every year pays off a loan to do that work with the contractor. After that loan is paid off, we just continue to have those energy savings,” Bruder said. Kent State previously installed a solar system on the field house roof. For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar
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