Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Ohio
After the committee recommended legislators indefinitely suspend Ohio’s portfolio standards, the Legislature sent to Kasich’s desk a measure that would have delayed implementation until 2019. Kasich vetoed the bill two days after Christmas.
In the decision, commissioners said Everpower didn’t meet all the requirements of the application and failed to show why the project would have a positive impact on the local economy. ...Commissioner’s also cited a public meeting where about 40 residents spoke out against the project and only the developer spoke in favor.
“The Logan County Board of County Commissioners is not convinced that over the life of the project that granting the PILOT would benefit the community. Likewise with respect to job creation, the Logan County Board of County Commissioners is not convinced that the amount of taxes abated would be exceeded by the benefit of gaining relatively few permanent employees,” the resolution reads.
In New Hampshire this week, where the governor is stumping for the Republican presidential ticket, Kasich told a town hall about the “battle” with some legislators over the clean energy standards. Some manufacturers told him they’d need to layoff workers if the standards, scheduled to increase until 2025, continued.
A $1 million feasibility study released five years ago this month and paid for, in part, by local taxpayers, warned that the high capital and operating costs of offshore wind would require significant funding from the Energy Department and philanthropic organizations.
Some of Ohio’s largest and best-known businesses are at odds this week over a proposal that would stop mandated annual increases in “green” energy purchases by utilities.
Ohio Senate Republicans release a plan on Friday to indefinitely freeze the state’s annual benchmarks for renewable energy and energy efficiency, a bill that sponsors say is an embrace of science and affordability. ...If the freeze becomes law, the standards would remain at current levels, which is 2.5 percent for renewable energy and 4.2 percent for energy efficiency.
AEP’s endorsement comes as Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, lead sponsor of the bill making the changes, says he is about to release a new version that would delay one of the most controversial provisions. He hopes to amend the legislation, Senate Bill 58, and for it to come up for a vote in the next two weeks. The current version would repeal a rule that says electric utilities must purchase half of their renewable energy from sources within Ohio. Seitz’s rewrite will delay that provision for several years.
Developers of a Champaign County wind farm said they’re preparing to seek a special tax treatment from the state and county commissioners ...But some local officials said unanswered questions remain, and opponents argued the tax treatment is more about maximizing profits for the company than it is about making the project feasible.
Jack Van Kley, an attorney for Union Neighbors United, said despite the revenue, taxpayers would be providing a tax break to a private company if the PILOT payment is approved. UNU is made up of a group of residents who are opposed to the project. “Certainly, if this project were to stand on its own without taxpayer assistance, it would not be profitable,” Van Kley said.
Two-thirds of the cost of wind development is paid for by taxpayers. New subsidized power from remote states will be paid for by the ratepayer/taxpayer. Congress has called for the phaseout of wind subsidies. When that happens, the new transmission lines surely will be the next "bridge to nowhere." Happy Global Wind Day.
Although the PTC was extended, opponents said the fact that it was approved at the final hour is in indication that legislators were more skeptical of its worth. The PTC can still be amended, Linowes said. ...so it would not be granted to projects that produce most of their energy in the evening, when there is less demand on the grid, Linowes said.
While the expiration of the PTC might affect some projects on the fringe of profitability, Linowes argued the majority would be able to be built by lowering other costs and possibly raising the price of the energy produced. "I think the wind industry so far has not made a strong enough case for the PTC to be extended for one year, for six years, for any number of years," Linowes said.
"Take all of these [economic] impact studies with a huge grain of salt," said David Kreutzer, a research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation. ..."They show the impact of the spending and leave out the impact of generating the revenue so that you have to spend it in the first place," he said.
If approved by the House of Representatives next week as expected, the legislation would encourage public colleges and other institutions to build heating and power plants fired by natural gas and get credit for them as renewable energy ...Those credits now go to help finance wind farms.
Lisa Linowes, of the Industrial Wind Action Group, argued it is an unnecessary credit that largely benefits corporate investors and wind project owners. She said the real driver behind wind energy in recent years was state mandates that expanded the market for wind energy and other renewable energy sources. ..."The idea that wind is going to create and sustain jobs if the PTC is extended is largely industry hype and not substantiated by any performance data."
The decision was made Thursday as German-based wind turbine manufacturer Nordex works to build an estimated $400 million wind farm project proposed for southeast Sandusky County and northeast Seneca County. The designation also would apply to alternative-energy projects such as solar, biomass and clean coal facilities.
The company has constructed a wind farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties, Commissioner Vince Schroeder said, with payments of $9,000 per megawatt. Putnam County should get the same amount, Schroeder and Commissioner Travis Jerwers told Lang. When the discussion became public, the company accused the commissioners of "revealing confidential information" and threatened to downgrade the project.
A recently-passed law that gives Ohio's county commissioners the power to authorize property tax exemptions to wind turbine developers could impact local school districts. Senate Bill 232 gives exclusive power to county commissioners to accept regular property taxes from renewable energy developers or provide them incentives by collecting substantially smaller, annual payments.
In a late-night session on Thursday, the Ohio House passed a version of Senate Bill 232 that can be sent to Gov. Ted Strickland. The house passed the bill on a 91-7 vote. Once the house vote was final, state senators passed the measure 27-5. The bill will change the way green energy firms like wind and solar companies pay taxes.