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AEP to Buy Power From Ohio Solar Plant Owned by Agile at Former Coal Mine November 4, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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By Ehren Goossens – Oct 5, 2010

AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power Co., agreed to buy power from a 49.9-megawatt solar project being developed by Agile Energy Inc. and New Harvest Ventures at a former coal mine southeast Ohio.

San Bruno, California-based renewable energy developer Agile and local developer New Harvest signed a 20-year contract for the Turning Point project, AEP said today in a statement.

The project’s first 20 megawatts will come online in late 2012 followed by 15 megawatts added by the end of 2013 and 14.9 megawatts coming online by the end of 2014, the developers said.

Columbus, Ohio-based AEP will build the project on 500 acres of strip-mined land that it reclaimed in Morrow and Noble counties, Terri Flora, a spokeswoman for AEP Ohio, said in an interview. Ohio requires utilities meet 0.5 percent of their power from solar power by 2024. AEP estimates the plant will enable it to meet this requirement “through 2019,” Flora said.

Last week, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order eliminating Ohio’s tangible personal property tax and real property tax for “renewable and advanced” energy project properties, intended to spur increased development.

The order makes effective Senate Bill 232, which Strickland signed into law on June 17, in an effort to implement the rules immediately while the normal rule-making process continues, Mark Shanahan, the governor’s energy adviser, said in an interview.

The tax holiday will affect projects that start construction before 2012, produce energy by 2013 (or 2017 for nuclear, clean coal and cogeneration projects) “and create Ohio jobs,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Renewable Requirement

Ohio requires that utilities derive 25 percent of their power from renewable, advanced nuclear or clean-coal energy sources by 2025 under the state’s alternative energy resource standard.

Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chief executive officer, agreed to invest at least $20 million in the project in a press conference held with Strickland and representatives of the companies involved.

Isofoton SA, a Madrid-based solar-panel maker, will manufacture 239,400 panels for the project at a new facility that will be located in Ohio. The companies will spend $3 million on the first phase of the plant, Isofoton’s José Carlos Sánchez-Muliterno said in the press conference.

Albacete, Spain-based Prius Energy S.L. will also manufacture its solar tracking systems, which rotate solar panels to face the sun, at a new plant in Ohio.

In June, South Korea-based Toptec Co. Ltd. and Spanish solar company Affirma acquired Isofoton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.



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