At the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday, representatives from Vestas, Iberdrola Renewables, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and Calvert Investments held a gathering to lay 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 AWEA says has been successful in drawing billions of private investment and thousands of renewable energy jobs to the Buckeye State.
According to the association, 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 in capital investment. Additionally, AWEA says 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 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."
Eric Thumma, director of institutional relations at Iberdrola Renewables, added that Ohio is "a great place to do business."
"The state's investment in smart policies led to our investment in projects like [the 304 MW] Blue Creek Wind Farm, which is supplying electricity needs to Ohio State University, First Energy and AMP Ohio," explained Thumma.
"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's senior vice president of public policy.