PUCO ruling likely to reduce credits to net metering customers

Some Ohio electric utility customers who generate power through solar panels or other renewable energy systems may soon receive less credit for doing so, The Columbus Dispatch reports. A recent Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ruling is likely to reduce the amount that electric utilities credit their net metering customers who send excess energy back to the grid. Under the revised regulations, credits for excess generation will be calculated based on the energy-only component of the utility’s standard service offer. That change means the credit to AEP customers, for example, could “be reduced by about 30 percent.” Trish Demeter, vice president for policy at the Ohio Environmental Council, called the ruling “a step back.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission

Village of Yellow Springs unveils 6-acre solar array

The village of Yellow Springs became a little greener recently when it “unveiled its newest source of energy — 3,024 solar panels tied into the grid on about 6 and a half acres of village owned land,” the Dayton Daily News reports. The solar array “brings the village’s total energy supply to 93 percent renewable energy sources,” according to the article. Village Manager Patti Bates said she and Electric Superintendent Johnnie Burns “started talking about the idea of the array in late 2014 to add more green energy to our portfolio and reduce the amount of energy we buy off the market.” Yellow Springs hired Dovetail Solar and wind to install the project, and entered into “a 25-year lease agreement with AEP Onsite Partners, LLC,” with an option to buy in six years. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar

Solar, wind, and natural gas groups unite to oppose DOE proposal to support coal and nuclear plants

An alliance of 20 trade organizations representing wind, natural gas, and solar power industries is voicing opposition to the Department of Energy (DOE)’s proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, Cleveland.com reports. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal “argues that the large, old coal and nuclear plants, which run 24 hours a day, add ‘resiliency’ to the grid” that protects it during weather disruptions or terrorist attacks, according to the article. The trade groups counter that the Trump administration has not demonstrated “problems with the existing system,” and that the proposal would increase costs to consumers. The Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has also criticized the DOE plan (see our November 2, 2017 blog post). For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar, Transmission, Wind

Cincinnati mayor’s goal: city government powered with 100% renewable energy

Installing solar arrays that would generate 25 megawatts of energy is the first step in Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s plan to eventually power the city government with 100% renewable energy, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The array, covering 125 to 150 acres (see our October 20, 2017 blog post), “would be the largest onsite municipal solar array in the country,” according to the article. Cranley “believes that by bringing in a private company – which can take advantage of federal tax credits where the government cannot – to build the array, the city will end up paying less for electricity than it does now.” The installation “would provide enough energy to power the city’s parks, recreation, parking, police, fire, health and administration buildings” and “reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 25,000 tons a year . . . the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars off the road.” For more, read the full article

Environmental, Renewable Energy, Solar

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

Shelby County Recycling Center running on 50% solar power with new array

A Tipp City renewable energy company gained “an opportunity to shine light on its offerings close to its own backyard” with a recycling center’s solar project, the Dayton Daily News reports. OGW Energy Resources “installed a solar array system now being used to help power” the Shelby County Recycling Center in Sidney, according to the article. The solar system “is basically a small electric power plant” that produces “grid tied alternating current or A/C,” said Ray Davis, president of OGW Energy Resources. The project, “funded in part with a $70,067 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency,” is estimated to generate 50% of the facility’s energy needs. David said the project will help reduce the center’s operating costs. For more, read the full article

Project Finance, Renewable Energy, Solar

Ohio General Motors plants will run on 100% renewable energy by end of 2018

General Motors Corp. recently announced plans for all of its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities to “meet their electricity needs through 100 percent renewable energy” by the end of 2018, according to a press release. The Business Journal reports General Motors “is buying 200 megawatts of wind energy from wind farms in Ohio and Illinois.” According to the article, wind power “will be used at the Lordstown Assembly, Defiance Casting Operations, Parma Metal Center and Toledo Transmission Plant in Ohio” as well as facilities in Indiana. The auto manufacturer “also uses solar power at 26 plants, including Lordstown,” according to The Business Journal. The article also reports that GM plans to “generate electricity for all of its plants on-site by 2050.” For more, read the full press release and article

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

Bringing solar power to more farms: Third Sun partners with DFA

Ohio-based Third Sun Solar and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have “teamed up to help bring solar panel technology to more DFA member farms,” OhioFarmer reports. The partnership “will provide DFA members in its Mideast Area with access to project planning, development, support and discounted pricing for on-farm solar power programs,” according to the article. David Darr, president of farm services at DFA, said “we hope to make solar technology more mainstream as the economic and environmental opportunities for farmers are incredibly beneficial.” Kibler Dairy Farm in Warren, Ohio, for example, “recently worked with Third Sun Solar to install 480 solar panels at their family farm,” a project that is expected to produce 163.2 kilowatts of power and provide more than $23,000 in savings during the first year. Third Sun Solar co-founder Michelle Greenfield said the increased durability of today’s solar panels makes solar “far more attainable for farmers.” For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Solar

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
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