Steve Melink: Ohio SB 310 (2014) killed the solar and renewable energy market

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   June 22, 2015  /   Posted in solar  /   No Comments

Steve Melink is president of Melink Corp.

Steve Melink is President of Melink Corp.

Ohio’s clean energy changes force Cincinnati company to look elsewhere

Ohio Senate bill 221 passed in 2008 and was focused on reducing the state’s dependence on fossil fuels by creating requirements for clean energy usage. That law was changed in 2014 with the passage of SB 310, which freezes and weakens many of the previous bill’s requirements, including a rule that half of all renewable generation occur in-state and one that set an energy efficiency standard to provide utilities credits for efficiency savings.
“Our growth accelerated mostly after SB 221 was passed,” Melink said on a call hosted by Environment Ohio to discuss the law change and its effects. “(The state) had to diversify for cleaner air and to benefit our economy, security and health.”

“It’s a huge lost opportunity for Ohio as a state,” he said. “There was a long-term vision for what we should and can become, and then things got political.”

According to Environment Ohio, the state’s residents are also paying a price for the change to clean energy policies. It estimates that in 2016 Hamilton County will miss out on enough energy savings to power 16,701 typical Ohio homes plus the equivalent of 561 new solar rooftops. If the clean energy freeze is made permanent, the Cincinnati area could miss out on solar generation equivalent to 6,956 solar roofs and electricity savings worth $431 million based on current rates in the year 2025. The group’s Research and Policy Center released a report detailing other losses across the state on Thursday entitled “Progress on Hold,” which is available in full here.

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