Fall 2021 AirFocus Newsletter

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Director's Corner

As we get ready to turn our attention to time together with family and friends over the holidays, I am reminded of all we are thankful for in 2021.

OAQDA’s 50th anniversary has made this year a wonderful journey of reflection. We’ve had an opportunity to look back at our successes over the decades, celebrate our partners, highlight amazing projects across the state, and expand efforts that can prepare us for the next 50 years!

I am particularly excited about our new Green Bonds Initiative. Through OAQDA, Ohio has the first statewide authority in the U.S. to implement a dedicated Green Bonds program, which features robust transparency and accountability that can meet the demands of the investors who are motivated by ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Our goal is to encourage additional capital investment in Ohio for qualified projects and spur sustainable economic growth. I urge you to learn more!

OAQDA continues to support significant investments for projects that improve the state’s air quality and will benefit our communities. We’re meeting the pace of businesses as they adapt to the ever-evolving sustainable economy. Renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure, and carbon capture or sequestration are all eligible technologies for our financing and actively being sought by many businesses. The Authority hopes to continue this growth next year as we work to diversify and fuel Ohio’s economy.

We are appreciative of the ongoing support from our state leaders and network of partners across the state. Throughout our 50th anniversary year, we have been privileged to share success stories and well-wishes along the way from our valued stakeholders including past projects, lender partners and state leaders.

As a recent example, I hope you enjoy the video below from David Fumi at Signet Capital Energy, who talks about his experience working with the OAQDA team to build energy efficient student-housing in Cleveland. It’s projects like this one that make me thankful for the Ohio businesses that value sustainability as an integral part of their growth.

More good news to come in the coming year.

Until then, be well and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Christina O’Keeffe
Executive Director


Embracing Solar Energy Development in Ohio

In 2021, many solar development companies have turned to OAQDA for assistance. As prescribed by the General Assembly, the Solar Generation Fund is available to jumpstart several projects with direct subsidy payments, whereas many others are seeking bond financing through the Clean Air Improvement Program.

The Solar Generation Fund was rebranded in 2021 through House Bill 128 and included the eligibility of two additional solar facilities. This summer, the Authority approved Hardin Solar Energy (Hardin County) and Vinton Solar Energy LLC (Vinton County), which are both owned by Invenergy, a privately held, global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions. Reporting for all approved facilities that are generating clean solar electricity is underway and each can receive the eligible payments for meeting statutory requirements of the program.

Through the Clean Air Improvement Program, the Authority approved Aurora Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables LLC, for bond financing for two approved solar projects: Great Bear (Van Wert County) and Powell Creek (Putnam County). These new, multi-million-dollar utility-scale solar projects will promote the reduction of emissions of air contaminants through the generation of clean solar energy, and are supported by local officials for creating jobs and economic benefits in the community.


New Project Announcements

The following new projects have recently been approved by the Authority. Congratulations!

Clean Air Improvement Program (CAIP)

Aurora Solar LLC – Powell Creek Solar Project (Putnam County)
Financing Amount:           Up to $215 million
Project:                              Utility-scale solar electric system
Environmental Benefits:  351,302 MWh of clean energy generated/yr
Economic Benefits:          Local revenue and jobs to the community


Aurora Solar LLC, a subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables LLC, was approved for up to $215 million in bond financing to assist with the installation of a large solar electric system in Palmer and Liberty Townships. The 150 MW solar facility is expected to generate 351,302 MWh of clean energy in its first year of operation, providing the equivalent of up to approximately 32,000 households with clean, emission-free renewable electricity. The project also provides local economic benefits to the community, including local revenue and jobs, and has the support from the Board of Commissioners of Putnam County, Miller City-New Cleveland Local School, Liberty Township Trustees Putnam County, Palmer Township, Putnam County, Village of Miller City.

Orion Office Investment, LLC (Delaware County)
Financing Amount:           Up to $900,000
Project:                              Energy efficient building upgrades
Total Savings:                   $144,997 per year (15% reduction)
Environmental Benefits:  At least 15% reduction in energy usage
Economic Benefits:          5-20 construction jobs

Orion Office Investment is a commercial property management firm and is part of Alterra Real Estate Advisors, a property investment and management company with more than 20 years of expertise. Financing will be used to renovate a 57,000-square-foot office building located at 8740 Orion Place in Columbus. The project will include replacing or upgrading building systems, as well as the addition of a solar array. This project is expected to result in air emission reductions and energy savings of at least 15 percent.


Clean Air Resource Center (CARC)

Batt and Stevens Inc. (Defiance County)
Financing Amount:           $115,000
Grant Assistance:             $20,000
Project:                              Downdraft spray paint booth
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction in VOCs and air pollutants
Economic Benefits:          Two full-time jobs created

Batt and Stevens offers full-service automobile collision repair and painting services, specializing in late model, foreign and domestic vehicles. This approved project is part of the company’s expansion plans and includes the installation of a new spray paint booth that is expected to reduce air emissions and will support a healthier working environment for employees. The project also will help the company add two new full-time positions.

Pride Dry Cleaners, LLC (Lucas County)
Financing Amount:           $50,000
Grant Assistance:             $10,000
Project:                              Dry Cleaning machine
Environmental Benefits:  Elimination of perc solvent
Economic Benefits:          Five jobs retained; three-five jobs created

Pride Dry Cleaners is a 30-year-old, family-owned and operated dry-cleaning services business. The company is focused on not only complying with, but exceeding, the standards of the federal Clean Air Act. Pride Dry Cleaners has been able to remain open throughout the pandemic and, in working with OAQDA, is even growing its business by replacing outdated equipment. The new dry-cleaning technology being installed will eliminate the use of PERC, a known carcinogen, which will improve employee and community health.  

Ohio Truck Sales (Sandusky County)
Financing Amount:           $966,000
Grant Assistance:             $20,000
Project:                              Two custom spray paint booth systems
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction in VOCs and air pollutants
Economic Benefits:          Over 90 jobs retained; 40 full-time jobs created

Ohio Truck Sales is a used semi-truck dealership with 11 years of experience in buying, fixing and reselling trucks and trailers. The company is in the process of moving from its current Sandusky (Erie County) location to a new 80,000-square foot facility in Clyde (Sandusky County), which will quadruple its size. The project will improve employee health and reduce air emissions by installing two custom spray paint booth systems into the new facility.

CARSTAR iGear Auto Body & Frame, LLC (Cuyahoga County)
Financing Amount:           $121,000
Grant Assistance:             $20,000
Project:                              Custom spray paint booth system
Environmental Benefits:  Reduction in VOCs and air pollutants
Economic Benefits:          10 jobs retained; 2 full-time jobs created

CARSTAR iGear Auto Body & Frame, LLC is a Cleveland-based automobile collision repair shop providing Cuyahoga County with unibody and frame repair equipment, expert color matching, accident support and towing assistance. With OAQDA’s financial assistance, the company will install a second custom spray paint booth to support the growth of the business, including the creation of two jobs and retention of 10 positions.


OAQDA 50th Anniversary Celebration Continues 

David Fumi at Signet Capital Energy worked with OAQDA to build energy efficient student housing near Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with companies like this one, ensuring that new building projects throughout Ohio think about sustainability from the start.


To see more 50th anniversary success stories, follow OAQDA on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. Share your thoughts, post a project picture or simply share a message of thanks. Please use the hashtags  #OAQDA  #Cheersto50Years.


Did You Know?

Investor demand is growing for projects that can meet ambitious ESG goals, particularly for those financed by bonds labeled “Green”, “Social” or “Sustainable.” OAQDA launched its new Green Bonds Initiative this summer, which will help drive investment toward projects in Ohio. Learn more about the Green Bonds Financing  Process.

Green Bonds Financing Process