Columbus, OH – Today at the Ohio Statehouse, leading wind companies Vestas and Iberdrola Renewables, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and Calvert Investments laid out the economic case for encouraging further renewable energy business development in Ohio, as lawmakers prepare to enter their last session for the year.
They offered the renewable business community’s insights into economic and energy policies like Ohio’s Alternative Energy Portfolio (a policy referred to in other states as a Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS), which has been successful in drawing billions of private investment and thousands of renewable energy jobs to the Buckeye State.
“Business leaders and investors have been calling on legislators to pass investment-grade clean energy policies because of the huge economic opportunity in it,” said Stu Dalheim, Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy at Calvert Investments (not present at the conference but later stated). “Ohio has been one of the states to hear that call and take action by employing a strong RPS to encourage renewable energy growth.”
Creating demand for renewable energy is driving investment and creating jobs in Ohio. Ohio has 62 factories that supply parts to the wind industry, more than any other state, making it the U.S. manufacturing leader. Those factories already have over $775 million dollars in capital investment. Additionally, wind farms in Ohio now pay over $2.5 million in lease payments yearly to local residents and $3.6 million in annual property tax payments
“Wind companies are looking to Ohio now because it’s a great place to do business,” said Eric Thumma, Director of Institutional Relations at Iberdrola Renewables. “The state’s investment in smart policies led to our investment in projects like Blue Creek Wind Farm, which is supplying electricity needs to Ohio State University, First Energy and AMP Ohio.”
“Wind power is a true American success story in Ohio and across the country,” said Susan Innis, Senior Manager for Public Affairs at Vestas. “The advantage in bringing wind projects to Ohio, which was one of the top five fastest growing states for wind capacity installation in 2012, lies in its policies like the RPS.”
“When the legislature resumes its session next month, it’s important that legislators recognize the importance of policy stability in maintaining Ohio’s renewable business growth,” said Rob Gramlich, AWEA Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “Ohio already has 62 wind manufacturing facilities and produces enough wind energy to power 100,000 homes in the state. It’s Ohio’s policies that draw companies like Iberdrola and Vestas to the Buckeye State and will continue that growth.”