Ohio kicks RPS vote into next week

Iberdrola was one of the first developers into Ohio after its RPS was passed in 2008

Iberdrola was one of the first developers into Ohio after its RPS was passed in 2008

Ohio’s House of Representatives will put off until next week a vote that would impose a two-year freeze on the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, giving lawmakers an additional weekend to weigh the issue as it gains prominence in the media.

The bill, which has already passed the Senate, could be put to a vote in the House as early as 27 May, with Senate leaders insisting it will be taken up before the end of next week, when lawmakers leave for their summer recess.

A two-year freeze on Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – passed in 2008 under a Democratic governor – would severely dent investment into the state’s growing wind and solar industries, renewables advocates argue.

Ohio has the highest number of wind-related manufacturing facilities in the US, according to the American Wind Energy Association, and also hosts First Solar’s lone US module factory, in Perrysburg.

Ohio has been among the fastest growing US wind markets in recent years, and is seen as having significant potential, both onshore and offshore in Lake Erie.

But the political impact of the freeze would be felt far beyond Ohio’s borders, as it would represent the first time a US state has formally watered down its RPS.

A number of states have fended off recent challenges to their own renewables mandates, most notably Kansas, and the number of well-funded legislative challenges to the mandates is expected to grow.

The Ohio bill would give utilities a pass on how they generate their electricity for the next two years, while a new committee is established to study future energy policy in the state.

Governor John Kasich, a Republican, is largely supportive of the freeze, having shot down an earlier version which would have binned the RPS altogether.

Communicating through a spokesman, Kasich has called Ohio’s RPS – which mandates that 12.5% of the state’s electricity come from renewables by 2025 – an “unachievable” aim.

“The environmentalists, and the bankers who paid for their wind and solar projects, want zero changes to Ohio’s flawed renewable energy standards, while those on the other side would like to scrap renewable energy altogether,” says Kasich’s spokesman. “Neither extreme is right.”

Some stakeholders have urged lawmakers to compromise on the issue, embracing a one- rather than two-year freeze.

Brazil approves QGER wind start-up

02 September 2014 05:21 GMT

Warnings on UK funding mechanism

02 September 2014 03:56 GMT

TenneT: Offshore lag continues

02 September 2014 03:16 GMT

Two extra years for Kriegers Flak

02 September 2014 03:07 GMT

Move on Brazilian local content

02 September 2014 10:59 GMT

Heritage fears sink wind project

02 September 2014 12:07 GMT

250MW of Polish wind sold

02 September 2014 11:41 GMT

JDR nets Dudgeon cable deal

02 September 2014 11:16 GMT

INTERVIEW: Hermann Albers, BWE

02 September 2014 09:05 GMT

Atlantic Array data made public

02 September 2014 09:46 GMT

IN DEPTH: Europe's wind capital

02 September 2014 09:15 GMT

Vestas gets 58MW Poland order

01 September 2014 05:44 GMT

IN DEPTH: UK offshore game-changer

02 September 2014 09:12 GMT

Glennmont round raises €500m

01 September 2014 04:34 GMT

Scots grant licence for EOWDC

01 September 2014 03:00 GMT

IN DEPTH: Siemens' bid to stay top

01 September 2014 09:13 GMT

Aikengall extension opposed

01 September 2014 02:31 GMT

Drive to cut UK offshore costs

01 September 2014 01:21 GMT

Met Office launches German service

01 September 2014 12:43 GMT

Mainstream switches strategy

01 September 2014 12:29 GMT

Become a Recharge subscriber!

Or try our free trial.

Order Subscription

Already a member?


Recharge Monthly Magazine