Smart Columbus Energy has been established to accelerate Central Ohio’s transition to clean energy with the initiative supporting mayor Ginther’s vision of a carbon-neutral city by 2050.
Smart Columbus has secured its first three customers for its newly unveiled renewable energy aggregation initiative.
Central Ohio public companies Cardinal Health, Huntington, and American Electric Power (AEP) have signed up to purchase Ohio-based clean energy from Smart Columbus Energy, established to help accelerate the region’s transition to clean energy.
As a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (Puco)-approved energy aggregator and power broker, Smart Columbus Energy pools the energy demand of large corporate and industrial organisations in the region to buy wind and solar energy.
With the commitments secured by Smart Columbus Energy, AEP Energy – a subsidiary of AEP – will procure wind and solar power from new projects in the state of Ohio to fulfill the energy demand.
According to Smart Columbus, the programme has the potential to drive $1bn in new clean energy infrastructure investment in the state, creating jobs and tax revenue.
“We are fostering equity by reducing the impact of climate change, creating new job opportunities and reducing energy burden in opportunity neighbourhoods”
Revenue generated by Smart Columbus Energy will be re-invested into the Smart Columbus initiative to help fund projects designed to make the region more innovative, sustainable, equitable and connected.
“Columbus residents made clear this November that they want their homes and businesses powered by renewable energy, and now our region’s corporate community is joining them to make our power cleaner, our people healthier and our economy more vibrant,” said Andrew Ginther, mayor, City of Columbus.
“This effort by the public and private sectors to drive renewable energy and pursue carbon neutrality is the Columbus way at its finest. Together, we are fostering equity by reducing the impact of climate change, creating new job opportunities and reducing energy burden in opportunity neighbourhoods.”
Smart Columbus Energy is a non-profit managed solely by the Columbus Partnership. It will supply approximately 25 megawatts (MW) of new wind and solar capacity to the three founding customers, the equivalent of powering 7,000 Ohio homes.
“By partnering with AEP and AEP Energy, we’re forming one of the nation’s largest coordinated private sector clean energy buying programmes”
The programme, reportedly, has the potential to add 900 MW of renewable energy capacity, and is now open to large energy buyers.
“CEO members of the Columbus Partnership told us that they want Ohio-based clean energy, not only for sustainability and sound corporate governance, but because they are committed to driving investment that creates good jobs,” added Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership.
“By partnering with AEP and AEP Energy, we’re forming one of the nation’s largest coordinated private sector clean energy buying programmes and demonstrating the Columbus region’s commitment to climate leadership and economic opportunity.”
AEP is purchasing energy supply for its headquarters building in downtown Columbus and its Dolan Lab in Groveport through the Smart Columbus Energy programme. Cardinal Health will power its global headquarter campus in Dublin as well as one of its major Central Ohio distribution centre, and Huntington will power its Columbus facilities with renewable energy provided by the programme.
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