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United States

Ohio's bid to be a manufacturing hub

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The Ohio Department of Development issued a request for proposals in February seeking a liaison to help identify, coordinate and expand the state's wind energy supply chain in an effort to plant seeds for wind power and provide the state with much-needed jobs. "We're at the top of the charts when it comes to potential for manufacturing component parts for renewable energy," says Amy Gomberg of Environment Ohio. "But are these companies talking to each other? Are they maximizing their efforts?" Gomberg names Clipper Windpower's Iowa turbine manufacturing facility as a case in point. "Clipper Wind has a ton of contracts with companies in Ohio to manufacture component parts," she says. "So a ton of these mom-and-pop kinds of manufacturers are producing and shipping to Iowa when they could be shipping in state. Ideally, we could land an assembler of turbines here so that our Ohio businesses could grow to their fullest potential." Meanwhile, as the seventh-most populous state, Ohio remains stuck on a meagre 7 MW of wind power as it struggles to pass a law requiring utilities to procure electricity from green sources. The latest law proposal calls for a standard 12.5% of the state's electricity to come from renewables by 2025. According to Gomberg, the new bill could reach the governor's desk in coming weeks or months. "I think everything in Ohio really hinges upon when we can add this renewable energy standard," Gomberg says. "It's pretty clear that we've got a number of developers on the ground waiting for our legislature to get its act together."

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