Frequently Asked Questions

How can solar energy be profitable in Ohio?

  • You will save money on your utility bill by making your own electricity.
  • Ohio Solar Efficiency - The Buckey State is an Overlooked Location!

This map was created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the Department of Energy.

Click here for a high resolution poster of this map


  •  Ohio's Requirement has created a market for Renewable Energy Credits

By the year 2025 at least 25% of electricity sold in the state must be generated by alternative sources.

Half (12.5%) of these alternative sources must be renewable.

.5% (one half of a percent) must come from Solar.

Utility companies face penalty payments if these requirements are not met annually.

Penalty payments for utilities to comply with Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard will continue to decrease every two years.  It is currently $400 per MWh for 2010.

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?


Renewable Energy Credits (or Certificates) are a tradable commodity for renewable energy in North America.  REC’s are sometimes also referred to as ‘green tags’.  One REC is the equivalent of one (1) mega-watt hour (MWh) of renewable energy generation.  The REC represents the environmental and social aspects of the renewable energy generation and is considered a separate entity from the electricity itself.  The electricity can be sold separately from the REC as well.

RECs can be used as a way to track how much renewable energy has been generated for purposes of meeting state RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) and/or AEPS (Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard) requirements in compliance markets.  Currently approximately 29 states including Ohio participate in an RPS, which requires a certain percentage of electricity sold in the state to come from renewable sources.  In voluntary markets, RECs can be used as a way for consumers to purchase renewable energy for its environmental and social benefits.

 

Ohio’s Renewable Energy Benchmark Requirements[i]

Ohio’s Alternative Energy Portfolio requirements are outlined in the table below. 

By end of year:

Renewable energy resources

Solar energy resources

2009

0.25%

0.004%

2010

0.50%

0.01%

2011

1.0%

0.03%

2012

1.5%

0.06%

2013

2.0%

0.09%

2014

2.5%

0.12%

2015

3.5%

0.15%

2016

4.5%

0.18%

2017

5.5%

0.22%

2018

6.5%

0.26%

2019

7.5%

0.30%

2020

8.5%

0.34%

2021

9.5%

0.38%

2022

10.5%

0.42%

2023

11.5%

0.46%

2024 and each year thereafter

12.5%

0.50%

 

The required payment for noncompliance with any solar energy resource benchmark is as follows:

 

 

Year

Payment per MWh

2009

$450

2010 and 2011

$400

2012 and 2013

$350

2014 and 2015

$300

2016 and 2017

$250

2018 and 2019

$200

2020 and 2021

$150

2022 and 2023

$100

2024 and beyond

$50



[i] Data obtained from Public Utility Commission of Ohio; Chapter 4901:1-40 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

 

How do I create RECs for my renewable energy generation?

Carbon Vision will register and sell RECs on behalf of our clients.

There are several steps involved in creating and registering RECs.  For meeting a state RPS there is typically an application that must be filed with the utilities commission.  This application allows the generator to become certified as a renewable energy resource generating facility.  Carbon Vision will handle the application completion and submission on behalf of our clients.

After application approval, the generating facility will then need to be entered into a regional tracking system such as GATS.  This allows for the creation of a unique identification number for each REC that is registered.  This way the REC cannot be double-counted or used more than once.  Carbon Vision creates and maintains these accounts and has the experience necessary to purchase and sell RECs on behalf of our clients.

 

HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY WILL I GENERATE?

Here is a handy rule of thumb formula for calculating the amount of electricity a solar PV system will generate:

System Output (watt-hours / day) =

PV Array Size (watts)  x  Solar Radiation (hours / day)  x  System Efficiency

 

Example for a 45 kW DC system in Cleveland, OH with an estimated 75% System Efficiency rating:

System Output = 45,000 watts x 4.09 average hours of sun per day x 75%

System Output = 138,037 watt-hours / day  = 50.4 MW-hours / year

HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY DO I USE?

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average American home uses approximately 920 kWh per month, or 11 MWh per year.  Many electric utility bills have an annual summary of the amount of electricity used in your home or organization.  Take a look at your annual totals the next time you receive a bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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