WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that two Ohio wind energy projects have cleared a key federal hurdle and now have the go-ahead from the Department of Defense (DoD) to proceed. Two wind turbines in Euclid, managed by Stamco Industries, and Invenergy, LLC’s meterological tower in Kenton both received clearance from the DoD today. While DoD does not have an official role in project approvals off of military facilities, the agency provides recommendations to FAA and other land management agencies.
“Wind energy is delivering more power to Ohio homes and businesses,” Brown said. “I’m glad to see the Department of Defense working quickly to give the green light to these projects in Euclid and Kenton. DOD’s approval, in turn, will clear the way for the Federal Aviation Administration and other key agencies to move these projects forward and spur economic development and new manufacturing jobs in northern Ohio.”
According to DoD, the new Siting Clearinghouse—which conducted the clearances—has completed a comprehensive review of 249 renewable energy projects proposed in 35 states and Puerto Rico, and found that 229 have little or no impact on military missions, thus clearing the way for more than 10 gigawatts of renewable energy. -This comprehensive review involved approximately 6500 wind turbines and 30 solar projects. Cross-functional, multi-service teams reviewed each project for possible impacts on radar surveillance, test and evaluation, and readiness and training capability. These new energy projects will increase the nation's energy security while ensuring that our military services have the test capabilities, training venues, and equipment to help keep America safe.
Brown has been working to promote the competitiveness of the American clean energy industry. Last June, USW and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced a new partnership to make the U.S. a leader in wind energy. The two groups released a framework agreement creating a "Partnership for Progress" to accelerate the development and deployment of wind energy manufacturing in the U.S. The partnership followed intervention from Brown and his calls for domestic sourcing for the clean energy supply chain.
In August, Brown praised an agreement between the USW and two of China's leading power generation companies that will enable production of clean energy components in the United States. Following reports that a West Texas wind farm receiving $450 million in Recovery Act funding would purchase wind turbine components made in China, Brown called for strong domestic sourcing requirements. He also joined his colleagues to introduce the American Renewable Energy Jobs Act, legislation which would ensure that grant money distributed through the "1603" wind energy program is given only to clean energy projects that preserve and create jobs in the United States.
More than 70 percent of the components of clean energy systems are produced outside the U.S. Brown is fighting to bolster domestic production of clean energy components and to make Ohio the Silicon Valley of Clean Energy Manufacturing. This Congress, he reintroduced legislation that would expand and improve the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (48C) program. The Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act would extend the program and allow for grants in lieu of tax credits. This would enable the program to reach additional companies that would otherwise be unable to utilize the program—new companies that do not yet have tax liabilities or companies that struggle to find credit in today's tight financial market. The SEAM Act also adjusts the selection criteria to give higher priority to facilities that manufacture—rather than assemble—goods and components in the U.S.