When the Clean Energy Law was passed in 2008, Ohio had little to show in the way of renewable energy, and many of the state's major utilities had no efficiency programs for their customers to participate in. More than anything else, our new report Ohio's Clean Energy Report Card, Year 2 shows how quickly things can change.
With the market for wind energy stimulated by the law's requirement for utilities to invest in clean sources of generation, wind companies have been able to make major new investments in the state. The biggest of these, to date, is the new Timber Road wind farm in Paulding County, in western Ohio, where a new 102 MW wind farm (for reference, Ohio had 8 MW of wind capacity, total, before that facility came online) will produce as much electricity as more than twenty thousand homes consume every year.
That project is far from alone—in fact, we didn't even have room in the report to tell all the success stories we came across in full. Even more major wind projects are planned, as are utility scale solar projects. Meanwhile, rooftop solar panels are popping up at locations ranging from a Campbell's Soup factory to the Cleveland zoo. Efficiency is also booming, with most of the utilities we examined significantly exceeding their goals for 2010.
The moral of the story? Once you give it a kick start, clean energy can kick in fast. Within the first three years of the Clean Energy Law's operation, Ohio is already seeing results. There's still a ways to go, but the clean energy economy is already showing its potential.