Lake Erie Electric Launches Renewable Energy Solutions in Ohio & Michigan
"Renewable energy is no longer something we talk about for the future," Renewable Energy Solutions Manager Tom Whitby said. "More and more of our customers are choosing to generate electricity for their homes and businesses by using clean and cost efficient energy sources like solar and wind as opposed to conventional methods which deplete our natural resources and pollute the environment."
Federal, state and local governments across the country have adopted renewable portfolio standards, enacted mandates for renewable energy use and are offering consumers incentives to use more clean energy sources. Ohio lawmakers have aggressive standards for renewable energy that require 12.5 percent of Ohio's electricity to come from renewable sources and a 22 percent cumulative reduction in energy usage by 2025. Michigan lawmakers have mandated that by 2015, 10 percent of electrical retail sales be from renewable energy sources. More than half of the states in the U.S. have adopted similar standards and are making incentives available for compliance.
"A commitment to renewable energy today is an investment in our future," said Carl W. Scheutzow, Mariner Energy Systems, LLC., a solar power consulting, design and installation agency working in partnership with LEE. "With the number of federal and state incentives available to individuals and businesses, now is the time to make that investment. Customers could realize a $0 electric bill and keep thousands of pounds of dangerous greenhouse gasses from entering the environment."
In addition to the environmental benefits, there are several grants and tax benefits available to help individuals and businesses make the investment more cost effective. Through 2016, the federal government is offering a 30 percent tax credit for the cost of a solar or wind power system. In addition, the Ohio Energy Office has a grant available for solar installations that pays $3.00 per Watt up to $25,000 for residential systems and $3.50 per Watt up to $150,000 for commercial installations. Ohio grants available for residential wind power installations include the lesser of $2.00 per annual kwh generated (first year production) or 50 percent of the project cost, up to $25,000. For commercial installations the grant is the lesser of $2.00 per annual kwh generated (first year production) or 40 percent of the project cost, up to $200,000.
Lake Eric Electric's Renewable Energy Solutions took advantage of the incentives and completed their first commercial installation at their headquarters in Westlake. The 3 kW solar array was commissioned in April 2009 and is the first solar installation in the City of Westlake. To date, the project has made a measurable impact, saving the environment from more than 4,000 lbs of carbon dioxide, 17 lbs of nitrous oxide and 45 lbs of sulfur dioxide. These are greenhouse gases that would have been released into the atmosphere by conventional electricity generating the same amount of power.
"Using renewable energy is a great way to make a real impact, and so far this installation has produced enough electricity to power 67 homes for a day," Whitby added.
Other completed or pending projects throughout Ohio include projects in Sheffield Lake, Toledo, Summit County, Guernsey County, Walton Hills, and a number of Cleveland suburbs.