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Alternative Energy and Its Impact on Infrastructure

Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standard and the shale gas boom have helped to drive investment in Ohio’s clean energy infrastructure, creating job growth and investment opportunities.

Bruner, in partnership with OCCAEE, hosted an event where representatives from the alternative energy and power distribution sectors discussed their current and future development plans.  Topics included solar power, wind power, downstream natural gas applications and cogeneration.

Panelists:

Mark Gundelfinger, Manager, Alternative Energy Resources, AEP
Matt White, Legal Counsel, IGS Energy
Dave Dwyer, Project Engineer, Solar Planet
Monica Jensen, Vice President, Development, Windlab

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During the conversation it was very clear that Senate Bill 58 was top-of-mind. The bill calls for a revision of Ohio’s clean energy legislation.

On one side, the energy providers, AEP Ohio and IGS Energy, were proponents of the bill, as it would partly compensate the utility companies for power sales that they will lose due to the reduction mandate of 22% by 2025.

On the other side, the renewable providers, Solar Planet and WindLab, were opponents of Senate Bill 58. The State of Ohio regulates that half of renewable power must come from Ohio sources, making Ohio a desirable state for this industry. Senate Bill 58 would eliminate this part of Ohio’s clean energy laws and undercut renewable energy growth in Ohio.

Since the luncheon, Senate Bill 58 has been put on hold and will be revisited in 2014. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Seitz, has not been able to garner enough support to put the bill to a full chamber vote. Seitz responded by saying that he’s “just begun to fight,” so the dispute is far from over.