Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in Ohio
As one of the leading states using clean energy, Ohio has a number of incentives in place for renewable technologies and has a good mix of wind, biomass and solar. Having said that, the state still gets over 80% of its energy from coal despite having over 120,000 jobs in the green technology industry. Ohio has a Renewable Portfolio Standard to produce 12.5% of its energy from green sources by 2025.
The state has a growing solar industry with 235 companies currently employing just under 5,000 people and a 113 MW of capacity installed, placing it mid-table in the US. The two largest plants are Wyandot Solar Facility and BNB Napoleon Solar both with a capacity of 10 MW. Many large retailers including IKEA have installed solar panels on their stores. A 50 MW plant is planned for Cumberland Ohio, helping the state to meet its RPS of O.5% from solar by 2025.
Ohio has put a lot of work into their wind power options, increasing capacity from 9 MW in 2010 to 112 MW just over a year later. Several large projects are currently in the pipeline including the 304 MW Blue Creek Wind Farm that could provide power for over 70,000 homes. Much of the biomass development has been through fuels rather than electricity creation but the state has a good deal of resources that could improve this area of renewable energy.
Solar PV Incentives in Ohio
The state allows you to buy solar panels outright, either through a loan or savings, or to enter into a leasing agreement where you get free installation but hand over any incentives to the installing company. Ohio has net metering in place and all installations can benefit from the Federal Tax Rebate. There is also the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program which is available for the first five years of the installation. There a number of property tax exemptions depending on the amount of power produced and a range of low cost loan facilities including the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance Residential Loan Program.
Solar PV Case Study in Ohio
With leasing and purchasing allowed in the state and some good incentives, the return on investment for Ohio is pretty good when it comes to solar PV. The average cost of a 5 kW array will be $18,750 and with the Federal Tax Rebate of 30% and the advantage of solar energy credits, you should expect to pay off any loan or investment by year 14 and accumulate a profit over 25 years of nearly $7,000.
Solar Thermal Incentives in Ohio
Solar thermal benefits from some of the incentives solar PV enjoys and is an economical and simple way to provide hot water and internal heating for properties across the state. A number of utility companies also offer their own rebate incentive for commercial properties, and places such as schools, including the Green Energy Ohio GEO Solar Thermal Rebate Program.
Small Hydro Incentives in Ohio
Ohio as two main hydroelectric plants including the O'Shaughnessy Dam in Dublin. There is plenty of resource and capacity for installing micro-hydro, particularly for agricultural areas. Benefits come from the Federal Tax Rebate but also the Qualified Energy Property Tax Exemption for Projects 250 kW or Less.
Geothermal Incentives in Ohio
As with other states in the US, geothermal is a viable alternative energy for Ohio, particularly with the growth in popularity of ground source heat pumps. If you have the right, well-insulated property and the ground space to install the piping, a number of state utility companies are offering incentives such as the Dayton Power and Light Business and Government Energy Efficiency Rebate Program.
Biomass Incentives in Ohio
There is good potential for developing biomass and particularly introducing technologies such as wood chip burners for both residential and business premises. There are property tax breaks available including the Energy Conversion and Thermal Efficiency Sales Tax Exemption. There are also a number of low cost loans and grants for both residential and corporate premises who are looking to change to more energy efficient heating.
Wind Power Incentives in Ohio
Much focus is being put on developing wind power in Ohio because of the great natural resources. Installation is not cheap but return on investment is pretty good and for farmers and agricultural concerns there is the prospect of bringing in valuable extra income. Incentives include the Federal Tax Rebate and there are local incentives such as the City of Cleveland Residential Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings.
While great strides have been made by Ohio to develop its renewable energy mix there is still some way to go. Solar PV represents a good investment with a number of incentives for both commercial and residential installations while wind is developing quickly on a large scale. Improvements are expected in the biomass arena over the next decade or so.
You can find out more about renewable energy incentives for the state of Ohio from the DSIRE website.