Emily Bacha, Vice President of Public Affairs, November 21, 2019
Today the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) denied Ohio Power Company’s (AEP Ohio) case for need for the development of 900 megawatts (MW) of renewables in Ohio, which includes a proposed 400MW of solar in Highland County.
Ohio has a steadily growing renewables market, which has mainly been through distributed generation and other small-scale solar installations since the legislature’s decision to increase setback distances for wind farms effectively stalled all projects since 2014. While utility-scale solar has been slow to develop in the Buckeye State, (Ohio had only 200MW of installed solar at the end of 2018), the proposed AEP Ohio 400MW of solar would triple Ohio’s solar capacity.
The following statement can be attributed in full or in part to Miranda Leppla, Vice President of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council:
“Ohio has exceptional potential to build more solar and renewable energy projects in our state, and this decision unfortunately blocks a critical part of the plan to build 900MW of renewables, which would have a significant impact on climate change and development of renewable energy here in our state. Instead of embracing renewable technologies and innovation, today proved to be another step backward for Ohioans.
“Ohio is rich with opportunities to reduce carbon pollution through renewable energy deployment, but failure to embrace new ideas and technologies has created major challenges and nearly stalled renewable energy progress. The OEC hopes that this setback for the development of 900MW of renewables is not the final word on these projects, and that AEP Ohio is able to find partners to move these projects forward regardless.
“Ohioans have made it clear that they want more renewable energy development in our state to combat the negative impacts of climate change on our communities and our neighbors. We are proud to see galvanized leadership on climate action at the local level with announcements like those in Cincinnati today, and urge our state leadership to increase their commitment to climate solutions at the state level as well. Ohio must act boldly on climate now to avoid the worst effects of our climate crisis.”