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Southern Ohio has opportunity with renewables

With the recent adoption of the Energy, Jobs and Progress Plan, under the Strickland governorship, ample opportunities exist in this southern region of Ohio.

The governor has made a bold proposal for Ohio to supply 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025 and has recently received unanimous approval from the Ohio Senate.

Of course, some of Ohio’s utilities have voiced displeasure as they see their power monopolies coming to an end while personal power generation will become reality.

A recent American Solar Energy Society report concluded that Ohio alone could create 675,000 jobs and billions in revenue from adopting the renewable energy industry during this period.

The norther areas of Ohio have made great strides as Cleveland has adopted solar with notable installations at the Indians’ Jacob’s Field complex, the city’s Science Center and being the host for Solar 2007, a major national convention in July of 2007.

FirstSolar, Ohio’s thin-film solar giant, is located right outside Toledo and has had booming sales because of the German solar industry exploding.

Cincinnati has made strides as Cincinnati State has a RE degree program recently accepted by the Ohio Board of Regents, Eden Park has a 10kw educational array and the University of Cincinnati was a recent participant in the bi-annual Solar Home Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

Now a renewable shift has become unavoidable as climate change has become the main topic at dinner tables across America. That, coupled with sky-high oil prices and addiction, the war in Iraq, and the need for new high-tech, high-paying jobs here, it seems a no-brainer that these technologies have to flourish.

We need to promote solar, wind, bio-fuels and bio-mass, all here in southern Ohio! The opportunities are already in place.

The South Point Industrial Park, with its Foreign Trade Zone designation and Empowerment Zone Funds, would be the perfect site for the many overseas companies looking to enter the burgeoning U.S. market.

With local support and state backing, this is a definite reality. I have researched several that are actively looking for prospects as well as re-visit the bio-fuel and bio-mass industries that were here.

Recently cleared industrial sites owned by th city and county could obtain “brownfield status” and qualify for funding to build grid-supporting, solar power pilot plants that already exist in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Hopefully this dialogue will continue as the opportunities are at hand. Backed by our governor, southern Ohio can take its rightful place to be a principal player in the New Energy Age!

THURMAN T. MILLER

Soulsolar LLC