United States

United States

Signs of life in Ohio's wind market

Ohio, with only 7 MW of wind state wide, could be showing signs of life. A recent plan from Governor Ted Strickland calls for "advanced" energy to make up 25% of Ohio's electricity portfolio by 2025 with lawmakers apparently onboard. Half must come from renewables, while the rest can come from technologies such as fuel cells, lower-emissions coal and nuclear sources. "We want to see it strengthened to at least 20% renewables by 2025," says Amy Gomberg of Environment Ohio, which is working to see the measure passed this fall. Wind is seen as a way to revive Ohio's stagnated manufacturing sector. "I have a list of more than 70 companies that are already producing component parts and materials for wind turbines," says Gomberg. "But right now we're shipping those parts to other states." Ohio is the seventh most populous state. "If we don't do something soon, Ohio is going to miss the boat." Meantime, $5 million in state grant money will add $0.01/kWh to the purchase price of production from two wind projects expected online in the first half of 2009. The 100 MW Buckeye Wind Project in Logan and Champaign counties was awarded $3 million, with another $2 million going to the 49.5 MW Great Lakes Wood County Wind Farm. Funds will be allocated over five years or until exhausted. For projects using equipment manufactured in Ohio, a further $0.002/kWh is available.

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