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Kasich Sets the Table for Economic Growth Across the Buckeye State

Mark Goodwin
President and Chief Executive Officer

Governor of Ohio John Kasich

Photo: Michael Vadon

Governor John Kasich showed real leadership in making the economically sound decision regarding the fate of renewable energy in Ohio.

His action to veto HB 554 sets up significant potential benefits from Cleveland to Cincinnati and, more important, across many counties and townships in between.

It’s the first step toward unleashing major, multifaceted economic investments across the state that have remained largely paralyzed since 2014, due the freeze of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and the implementation of unprecedented property line setbacks for wind turbines.

Apex has invested over $15 million in preparation of bringing clean, abundant, and affordable wind energy projects to Ohio.

By enacting these sweeping regulations, the legislature overlooked the new market dynamic driven by Fortune 500 companies demanding renewable energy in states where their manufacturing and operations are located. The result was predictable: these restrictions have all but dried up new utility-scale renewable generation in Ohio.

The implications are huge. Major corporations, with the ability to spur economic development and create jobs, are increasingly seeking low-cost wind and solar power to meet growth, reinvestment, and sustainability goals. Over 60 U.S. companies have signed the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, which state a preference for greater choice in the procurement of renewable power to meet business goals and access to new projects to reduce emissions.

When Fortune 500 companies choose to expand or relocate, access to renewable energy is often the deciding factor.

industry jobs welder

In 2015, Fortune 500 companies, including manufacturers, advanced technology firms, and other non-utility customers, accounted for half of the total renewable power purchase agreements in the United States. When these companies choose to expand or relocate, access to renewable energy is often the deciding factor.

Governor Kasich said it best when he noted that “arbitrarily limiting Ohio’s energy generation options amounts to self-inflicted damage to both our state’s near- and long-term economic competitiveness.”

Governor Kasich’s veto sends an important signal that he understands the economics at work: encouraging clean energy creates jobs and investment and serves as a magnet for the Fortune 500.

This dynamic is at work in other states, in fact, one recent example exists right across the border.

Las Vegas-based global technology firm Switch moved into Michigan only after confirming it could power a data center facility with 100% renewable power. Until then, senior Switch officials remarked that Michigan “wasn’t even on the radar,” but renewable power helped close the deal. In return, Switch is bringing 1,000 new jobs and billions in total investment to Grand Rapids. Switch is not alone in making the shift to clean energy.

Amazon plans to fuel its local expansion with wind power based in northwest Ohio. While this is welcome news, it is also the result of a grandfather clause. The renewable energy projects where Amazon will purchase power were approved by the state years ago, before the rules of the game were changed.

Governor Kasich’s veto sends an important signal that he understands the economics at work: encouraging clean energy creates jobs and investment and serves as a magnet for the Fortune 500.

Apex Clean Energy is a leading developer of utility-scale renewable energy projects, and we have already invested over $15 million in preparation of bringing clean, abundant, and affordable wind energy projects to northwest and north central Ohio.

Our company stands ready to inject $2.4 billion in private investment and hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue into Ohio counties and schools. Specifically, these investments are expected to generate an estimated $104 million in county and township payments, $171 million in landowner payments, and $207 million in school payments.

Apex stands ready to inject $2.4 billion in private investment and hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue into Ohio counties and schools, and that number can be multiplied by other companies like us ready to propel Ohio’s economy forward.

Main Street, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

This translates to local spending that supports Main Street businesses and public benefits such as infrastructure improvements, social programs, new teachers, and new technology for students, all without raising local taxes. This is a win-win that can benefit citizens now and improve the quality of life for the next generation, and it can be multiplied by other companies like Apex ready to propel Ohio’s economy forward.

Governor Kasich’s veto and reinstatement of the RPS means that a comprehensive conversation on Ohio’s energy future is under way, with arbitrary setback regulations next on the agenda.

Real change is knocking at Ohio’s door. Is the Buckeye State ready to answer?

Mark Goodwin
President and Chief Executive Officer

Mark leads the Apex team and the execution of corporate strategy. He has direct responsibility for project development, construction and engineering, resource assessment, technology, procurement, and asset management.

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