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Environment


FirstEnergy seeks solar credits
Akron-based utility seeking 10-year contracts to meet guidelines set down in 2008, even as statehouse looks at new bill that would kill new requirements
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA
and MARANDA SHREWSBERRY


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
Ohio lawmakers are reconsidering a requirement that an eighth of the state’s energy come from wind, solar and other 
renewable resources by the year 2025.  But, as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, utility companies are still shopping 
for the renewables.
FirstEnergy seeks solar credits

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Ohio is one of three dozen states that have a renewable-energy goal written into law. The 2008 state law says electric companies either have to generate more clean power or buy credits from those who do.
Akron-based FirstEnergy derives most its power from coal and nuclear, and had argued that there simply isn't enough sun -- or solar power -- in Ohio to meet the new requirements. 
But now, spokesman Doug Colafella says the company is seeking proposals for 10-year solar-credit contracts.
“Not only do we need to supply a percentage of our power from solar energy sources, they have to be solar energy sources generated in Ohio. So this is an opportunity for solar generation suppliers to basically, provide these solar energy credits to the utilities. So, it really helps to build the development of solar farms in Ohio. It helps increase investment in those types of resources.”
FirstEnergy recently announced it is closing six coal plants to further curb pollution.
Meanwhile, the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee is taking its first look at a bill that would eliminate the renewable energy standards altogether.
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