Green Township solar farm meeting draws hundreds

GREENFORD -- "Before it can be installed, however, the proposal has to receive approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board, which developed five phases that includes hearings, all of which could take several months to finish after the application is reviewed. For decades, the OPSB had sole oversight for projects such as Matador, Null noted.

Another possible complication for the project is the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 52, which provides an additional layer of county control in the process, including adopting zones where such solar farms would be restricted, he continued."

--Sean Barron, the Salem News

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Utility scale solar power is coming to Ohio. The innovative way it could be a boon for sheep farmers

A woman wearing a dark green jacket and khaki pants looks down at a lamb and pets it. She is standing in a large green field, with several more sheep in the background and a blue sky has lot of white clouds to the horizon.

OHIO -- "Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for anticipated renewable energy development in 2023. This year alone the state has approved over two dozen utility-scale solar farms, according to the Ohio Power Siting Board — the state agency tasked with approving these types of projects. As more projects go in, some solar companies and livestock farmers are looking to work together.

That’s because the solar companies that own those large scale solar farms need a plan to manage weeds and shrubs. Mowing equipment might be too big to fit between or under the solar panels. It also can be expensive, and mowers can release tons of carbon emissions.

But sheep fit just fine and they eat just about any type of grass. It’s called solar grazing and it’s a variation of agrivoltaics — the use of land for both food and solar energy production. It’s partly why farmers like Kirwan and Wilson see potential here."

-- Alejandro Figueroa, WYSO

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Ohio Supreme Court decision clears the path for Preble County solar farms

COLUMBUS -- "Two Preble County solar farms got the go ahead from Ohio’s Supreme Court last week, but the case may prove to be more consequential than the dispute it settled. Writing for the majority, Justice Pat DeWine staked out a position that seemingly asserts judicial authority over state agency decisions.

It reiterates and extends a doctrine established in a case last year known as TWISM. That decision held the court’s interpretation of statutes supersedes that of an executive agency. The latest case added that the court has the final say on interpreting an agency’s rules as well."

--Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal

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Court OKs construction of 2 large solar farms in Preble County

The solar array in Yellow Springs consists of 3,024 solar panels tied into the grid on about 6½ acres of village-owned land. The solar array generates 1 megawatt of electricity. By comparison, large solar arrays proposed in Preble County would generate more than 50 megawatts of energy. CONTRIBUTED

DAYTON -- "The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the construction of two large solar farms in Preble County.

The court found the Ohio Power Siting Board in June 2021 properly authorized the certificates to build the two solar-powered electric-generation facilities — Alamo Solar I in Gasper and Washington townships, and Angelina Solar I in Israel and Dixon townships. Each solar farm will have the capacity to generate more than 50 megawatts of electricity."

--Jeff Balduf, Dayton Daily News

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Cleveland green bank aims to bring clean energy to underserved communities

The Cleveland skyline seen from the Chapin Forest Reservation.


Cleveland -- :"A Cleveland, Ohio, green bank is leading a multi-state effort to secure a chunk of $7 billion in funding for low-income residential solar installations under the federal Inflation Reduction Act. 

Growth Opportunity Partners, a community development corporation focused on underserved, low- and moderate-income communities in Ohio, is spearheading an application by about 20 counties in seven states that are collectively seeking $250 million to help low-income residents access solar power. It operates the GO Green Energy Fund, the nation’s first Black-led green bank program."

Solar panel manufacturing booming in Ohio

TOLEDO — "Two companies in northwest Ohio, First Solar and Toledo Solar, are harnessing the power of the sun using American innovation.

'Outside of the country of China per capita, this is the most amount of solar manufacturer, manufacturing in the world,' said Aaron Bates, the CEO of Toledo Solar. 

The companies are neighbors, but not competitors. First Solar supplies the utility-scale solar market and Toledo Solar supplies the non-utility market, meaning residential homes and commercial buildings."

-- Taylor Bruck, Spectrum News

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Rooftop Solar Panels Could Power a Third of U.S. Manufacturing

NEW YORK -- "U.S. manufacturing takes up a lot of energy, but there’s untapped potential in solar power for that sector, new research finds. A study looked at how installing solar panels throughout manufacturing sites could meet a third of that sector’s power needs.

Researchers used a survey from the Department of Energy and compared states to understand where rooftop solar could best supply electricity needs for manufacturing. They found that companies that focus on textiles, apparel, and furniture would benefit the most from transitioning to solar energy. Their work is published in the journal Environmental Research: Sustainability and Infrastructure.

Matthew Eckelman, an associate professor at Northeastern University, told Earther that he and other researchers used the DOE survey to find regional estimates “of how much electricity each type of manufacturing uses per unit of floor space.” They determined that states in the Southwest, including Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico, received enough sunlight to meet a large portion of energy needs. During spring and summer months, some companies could use solar for up to 40% of their electricity needs, the study found."

-- Angeley Mercado, Gizmodo

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Columbus breaks ground on two new solar arrays that could power up to 7,500 homes

The arrays on Parsons Avenue and Jackson Pike on the city's far south side could be complete by the end of the year

COLUMBUS -- "Columbus is adding more solar energy on the far south side of the city that could power the equivalent of 7,500 homes, according to city officials.

Two arrays on Parsons Avenue and Jackson Pike will add 45 megawatts of solar power to the city's clean energy supply. Mayor Andrew Ginther and other city officials broke ground Thursday at the Parsons Avenue location.

Ginther said the new arrays will help the city achieve its goals to reduce carbon emissions."

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Questions to Help Bring NOPEC Customers Out of the Dark

  • What would NOPEC say to customers who have experienced huge, unaffordable bill increases while other Ohioans participating in aggregation programs have seen bill savings, especially in this moment when so many vulnerable community members are struggling to make ends meet?


  • Why was so much of NOPEC’s purchasing tied to the volatile natural gas market? Does NOPEC plan to purchase more renewable energy to better hedge against price fluctuation?


  • Why did other aggregators in Ohio get this right and NOPEC got it so wrong?


  • Do we anticipate leadership changes or organizational reforms in response to this blunder that is impacting so many Ohioans?


  • When did you know the price per kwh was 12¢ and what steps did you take to inform and protect consumers? When did you take these steps?


  • When and how did NOPEC inform their 240 member communities of their decision to switch customers off NOPEC and onto the standard service offering?


  • NOPEC leadership forecasts spring 2023 energy prices to be more affordable for customers. If they can forecast into next spring, why couldn’t they forecast this summer’s steep prices and avoid them or at least warn consumers?


  • How does the suspension of NOPEC’s aggregation program affect the terms of its contracts with communities?


  • If the PUCO revokes NOPEC’s certificate to aggregate, what happens to its contracts with member communities? Should member communities shop around to other aggregators?

State regulators: NOPEC must defend its right to remain an electric aggregator in Ohio

COLUMBUS — "NOPEC must defend its right to be an electric energy aggregator in Ohio after announcing plans to lower electric bills for 550,000 customers by purging them from its rate plans, state regulators ruled Wednesday.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio directed NOPEC to show cause and explain why its certificate to do business should not be revoked by Sept. 28. The commission also waived rules so NOPEC could transition customers to other providers without a 90-day notice.

PUCO Chair Jenifer French said the PUCO wants NOPEC customers to benefit from lower electricity prices, which is why it ruled in favor of NOPEC in granting the waiver on Wednesday. But the commission is still concerned about NOPEC’s plan to move so many customers at once."

-- Seam McDonnell,

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