Wind power gains favor in Ohio

October 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Wind energy generation in Ohio has jumped since 2008 with new wind turbine clusters, an industry group said Friday.

The American Wind Energy Association said that wind is responsible for nearly $775 million in investment in the state as of 2012. From 2008 until 2012, Ohio wind power generation went from 7.4 megawatts to 428 megawatts, or from enough to power 1,300 homes to more than 100,000 homes. The number of utility-size turbines went from five to 428.

In 2012, wind made up 0.8 percent of total energy production in the state, according to federal figures. As of 2012, coal supplied 67 percent of Ohio’s energy needs and natural gas is at 17 percent, up from 9 percent in 2011. Coal has dived from 78 percent in 2011 as cheaper natural gas becomes available.

While wind’s contribution still remains small, it’s growing quickly.

“It is a drop in the bucket, but Ohio is one of the fastest-growing states,” Emily Williams of the association said. “It is a state that developers are interested in because it has a large wind resource.”

The biggest contributers to wind energy production in Ohio are the Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties and Kimber Road II, entirely in Paulding County. Both projects were built in 2011 and 2012.

The state-mandated goal is that 12.5 percent of energy generated here be from renewable sources by 2025.

A bid to build nine wind turbines seven miles offshore from Cleveland in Lake Erie has been funded with $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. That will pay for site evaluation, engineering and planning. Other wind projects at various stages are in Harding, Logan, Campaign, Crawford and Richland counties.

There are other benefits to wind power, AWEA said. Ohio is home to 60 manufacturing facilities for wind hardware, the largest number in one state, Williams said.

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