Healthcare Providers and Advanced Energy Companies Urge Support for Diversifying Ohio’s Energy Portfolio
Signers urge lawmakers to stand behind the state’s energy standards and correct restrictive wind siting requirements for a reliable and resilient grid
Columbus, Ohio, December 6, 2017 — Today, a group of Ohio healthcare providers and advanced energy companies released a letter calling on lawmakers to support a “comprehensive approach to Ohio’s energy policy” that would “value innovative technologies that institute energy efficiency and demand response as a resource and expand the deployment of advanced energy technologies that curb energy costs to consumers.” Signers of the letter include the Cleveland Clinic, the Ohio Hospital Association Energy and Sustainability Program, and CEOs of Mercy Health, Mount Carmel Health System, and Tri-Health. Advanced energy business leaders signing the letter include executives from First Solar, Apex Clean Energy, Siemens, and Melink Corp.
“Keeping our healthcare facilities operating without interruption during unplanned outages is critical to protecting all Ohioans,” said Rick Sites, Regulatory Counsel for the Ohio Hospital Association’s Energy and Sustainability Lead. “As such, we are seeing hospitals increasingly interested in powering their facilities with advanced energy technologies. These technologies also reduce operating costs, improve health outcomes, and fulfill hospital commitments to the communities they serve.”
Specifically, the letter warns against efforts to weaken the state’s commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, as well as putting barriers in the way of renewable energy growth, such as the state’s overly restrictive setback requirements for wind energy developments.
“Advanced energy makes sense from a business perspective because costs have come down dramatically, and it makes sense for the state because advanced energy supports over 100,000 jobs in Ohio,” said Steve Melink, CEO of Melink Corporation, a provider of commercial-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in greater Cincinnati. “We need lawmakers to understand the importance of sustaining a commitment to advanced energy over the long term.”
Legislation now pending before the Ohio legislature in House Bill 114 would weaken the state’s ability to invest in renewable energy and efficiency technologies, while other bills like House Bill 381, Senate Bill 128, and House Bill 239 would instead subsidize aging, uneconomic coal and nuclear generating facilities. By favoring old energy options over more efficient and cost-effective technologies, the state is undermining its status as an attractive place to do business in the Midwest. (See bill links via AEE’s PowerSuite tool.)
Over the past five years, Ohio lawmakers have been pursuing changes in state law that undermine investments in advanced energy technologies. This uncertainty has created hesitation among investors that are eager to bring jobs and economic growth to Ohio.
“Our electricity market is undergoing significant transformation as the cost of advanced energy resources has declined dramatically while at the same time offering more reliable 24/7 options," said Ted Ford, President of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy. "Ohio energy policy needs to keep pace as advanced energy technologies are increasingly attractive options for companies, like these in the healthcare market, that are managing costs and demanding reliable sources.”
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Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Ohio Advanced Energy Economy (Ohio AEE) represents the interests of local and national AEE member companies in Ohio. AEE and its State Partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 organizations in the advanced energy industry. Learn more at www.aee.net and www.ohioadvancedenergy.org (@AEEnet and @OHAdvEnergyEcon)