Ohio Grants Solar Power to Its People

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio has unveiled a $3.5 million renewable energy program to boost the use of wind power and solar water heating systems in the state. Certified installers can apply for wind power grants rather than individual homeowners.

"We're trying for an umbrella effect," said Robert Grevey, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Development's energy office, which handles the grant applications. "An installer could be servicing three to 10 turbine applications, instead of all 10 of those applying separately."

Grants for solar water heating systems will be available to apartment buildings or developments of 10 units or more where water is heated by electricity. Customers of FirstEnergy, Duke Energy, American Electric Power and Dayton Power and Light are eligible for the wind and solar hot water grants.

Ohio is budgeting $2 million for solar hot water systems that officials estimate will trigger 200 residential projects during the next two years. A total of $1.5 million has been budgeted for wind projects that are expected to result in 260 turbines, according to state forecasts.

Home and property owners who seek to install renewable energy also receive federal tax breaks. For example, Dick Coin in Hambden Township, Ohio, currently pays $10 per month for electricity after installing a wind turbine and solar panel array.

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