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

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

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

Plans for three large solar farms in Ohio would add 400 MW of solar power

Ohio’s solar-generation capacity may soon see a drastic increase, as two companies have proposed three new solar projects, Columbus Business First reports. Currently, the largest solar array in Ohio is the 20-MW Bowling Green Solar Facility that began operations in January 2017 (see our February 13, 2017 blog post). However, Invenergy Renewables and Blue Planet Renewable Energy are looking to change that. Invenergy Renewables “wants to build a 150-megawatt solar-powered electric generation facility” in Hardin County as well as a 125-megawatt solar farm in Vinton County. Invenergy “is pivoting to solar” in part due to “restrictive regulations against wind power” in the state (see our July 5, 2017 blog post). Blue Planet Renewable Energy has proposed a “125-megawatt solar array in Brown County.” The three proposed solar project would “add an additional 400 megawatts of solar” capacity to Ohio’s current approximate “172 megawatts from 2,260 solar installations.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar

Solar system will save Newcomerstown money and generate income

The village and citizens of Newcomerstown will see a “major savings” of both cost and energy from a planned solar system, according to a recent TimesReporter.com article. Verde Solutions was scheduled to begin work on the project this month; the company’s Director of Renewables Chris Yurko says the solar system will save the village $133,680 annually. Those savings “will eventually benefit all citizens who are utilizing the waste water system,” according to the article. Additionally, the system “will also create an additional income for the village.” Yurko added that “Newcomerstown will be the first in the state of Ohio to use a solar system” to “operate their waste water system.” For more, read the full article

 

Renewable Energy, Solar

Average utility-scale solar price-per-watt falls below $1 for first time

The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report showed utility-scale solar systems “priced at an average of $.99 to $1.08/watt, a first in the industry,” UtilityDive reports. According to the report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “solar was the second largest source of new generating capacity additions brought on-line in the first quarter of the year, totaling 30%.” For the sixth consecutive quarter, more than 2 GW of solar was installed, with more than 1 GW of utility-scale capacity. SEIA’s president and CEO Abigail Ross Harper said, “[t]he solar market clearly remains on a strong upward trajectory . . . adding jobs 17 times faster than the U.S. economy and creating tens of billions of dollars in investment.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar

Federal Hocking solar project will supply 80 percent of energy for high school and middle school

A 704-kW solar panel array to be installed on the roofs of the Federal Hocking High School and Middle School will drastically reduce the facility’s electricity costs, The Athens Messenger reports. The array is part of the Solar ACCESS pilot project, a collaboration between UpGrade Ohio, Third Sun Solar and New Resource Solutions; the partnership “aims to increase access and participation in the solar economy for low or moderate income areas.” Solar ACCESS “was selected as one of 35 projects around the country in the U.S. Department of Energy’s ‘Solar in your community’ challenge,” according to the article. Federal Hocking Superintendent George Wood said the facility’s monthly electric costs are estimated to “go from $1,600–$1,700 down to about $200,” and that “[t]his investment will pay off for many, many years; both in dollars and in generation of clean energy.” 

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar

First PACE project in Sycamore Township completed

Kids First Sports Center is the first building in Sycamore Township to complete an energy-efficiency project with PACE financing, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The 108,000-square-foot youth sports facility and preschool “used PACE to finance a $650,000 energy improvement project that included the installation of rooftop solar energy panels . . . the replacement of fluorescent lighting with LED lighting and the installation of new insulation panels in the facility’s gymnasium,” according to the article. In a press release, Kids First owner Jeff Metzger said the improvements “will reduce the facility’s energy costs by 50 percent” and called PACE “a tremendous approach to improving buildings and the environment.” Bricker & Eckler served as PACE counsel for the project. The PACE program provides financing for the total cost of energy projects, and the loans are repaid through special assessments on the property’s tax bill (see our Energy SIDs & Pace Financing Resource Center).  For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Project Finance, Solar
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