While Solar Industry Builds in Ohio, Legislature seeks to Torpedo Industry

June 25, 2021

Coal industry alive and well in Ohio Legislature.

Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—The biggest American-owned solar-panel maker announced plans Wednesday to invest $680 million in a new Ohio factory, in one of the largest bets on domestic solar manufacturing since China began dominating the industry a decade ago.

First Solar Inc., FSLR +4.43% based in Tempe, Ariz., said it plans to begin construction after necessary permits and local incentives have been secured and is aiming to open the plant early in 2023.

The factory near Toledo, which would be the company’s third in Ohio, is expected to initially produce enough solar panels to produce 3 gigawatts of power annually, or enough to power about 570,000 homes.

Combined, the three plants by 2025 would produce panels that could generate 6 gigawatts of power annually, or a little more than half of all solar panels the company estimates will be produced annually in the U.S. by then, company’s chief executive, Mark Widmar, said.

Mr. Widmar said the investment reflected the growth of the American market and what he viewed as bipartisan government commitment to encourage domestic manufacturing in alternative energy.

Ohio Capital Journal:

The Ohio Senate passed legislation Wednesday granting new powers to county commissions to scuttle wind and solar development projects.

Senate Bill 52 would require the green energy developers — before filing a separate application with the state Power Siting Board that currently exists in law — to hold a public hearing with advance notice to local officials.

County commissions could then pass resolutions to ban wind or solar projects outright or limit them to certain “energy development districts” in the county.

The bill passed on a 20-13 vote, with five Republicans joining all eight members of the Democratic caucus in opposition.

A fellowship of unlikely allies opposed the bill, including the green energy industry and its advocates, utility companies like American Electric Power, oil drillers like BP, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and the Ohio Manufacturing Association.

The bill’s critics argued the Ohio Power Siting Board already imposes a rigorous application process that spans pricey submissions, environmental reviews, public hearings, staff investigations and a decision from seven voting board members (comprised mostly of the governor’s cabinet heads).

One Response to “While Solar Industry Builds in Ohio, Legislature seeks to Torpedo Industry”

  1. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    May the gods help us all.

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