About GEO

The Clean Energy Champion in Ohio : Green Energy Ohio (GEO) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices in Ohio.

In its 17th year, GEO conducts educational public outreach on all forms of renewable energy.  GEO’s clean-energy expertise and experience also provides practical policy advice to private and public decision makers. Serving as the Ohio chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), national attention to local efforts and access to resources are provided to GEO members. Unique among nonprofit advocacy groups in linking both economic and environmental perspectives, GEO relies on strong internal technical groups of architects, scientists, engineers, and energy system integrators within the business, education, and government sectors. Backed by solid community-based support, GEO mobilizes resources across Ohio with dozens of diverse partners joining together in groundbreaking renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

MAJOR PROGRAMS

Green Energy Ohio News Magazine

GEO produces four quarterly full-color statewide news magazines containing up-to-date regional news, case studies of renewable energy applications and green building techniques, GEO Green Pages which serve as a directory of GEO business members, and a special feature section. Each issue is available to view on-line.  See current edition. 2016-2017 magazine features included:

  • Ohio Green Energy Policy: Key Issues for 2017 – Spring 2017
  • Ohio Guide to Energy Efficiency – Winter 2017
  • Ohio’s Green Energy Future and Buyers Guide – Fall 2016
  • Ohio Green Energy Policy: Key Issues for 2016 – Winter 2016
  • GEO Tour 2016 – Spring 2016
  • Building Big Solar Across Ohio – Summer 2016

Fall 2016 Green Energy Ohio Tour

GEO conducts the annual Green Energy Ohio Tour in conjunction with the ASES National Solar Tour, which is the largest demonstration of installed renewable energy technologies and energy-efficient building practices in the U.S. Each year, thousands of people tour renewable energy-powered and energy-efficient homes and buildings to learn from homeowners and experts how solar technology works, what it costs, and why it makes sense. GEO also maintains the Tour web site, as a clearinghouse to pinpoint hundreds of clean energy sites in Ohio. Green Energy Ohio’s 14th Annual Tour moved from the Fall to the Spring in 2016. The 15th GEO Tour was moved back to the Fall on September 30, October 1 & 2, 2017.

The Tour features solar, wind, energy efficiency, biomass and other green designs.   This statewide effort includes hundreds of GEO volunteers led by GEO staff.  Over June 3, 4, and 5, 2016, the 14th GEO Tour with 88 Tour sites presented 141 open houses and 12 guided tours with 11 different green energy technologies. Tour sites were comprised of 22 businesses, 48 homes, 3 parks, 12 public sites, and 3 schools. Over 990 tour goers visited these sites that featured the products and services of 155 businesses. Over the past 14 years, GEO Tours have showcased 865 specific tour sites in 67 of Ohio’s 88 counties. GEO maintains the Tour portal web site from year to year, to serve as a clearinghouse to pinpoint hundreds of clean energy sites in Ohio.

Regional Conferences & Workshops 2016-2017

In March, 2017 GEO’s all-day Southwest Ohio Clean Energy Forum on energy efficiency and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy attracted 75 participants at Mason, Ohio focusing on how to save on energy costs and improving your carbon footprint.

In May, 2017 GEO’s all-day Ohio Green Energy Policy Conference on key green energy policy issues featured 16 expert speakers, 77 attendees and 8 exhibitors in Columbus.  Employing GEO’s “hands-on” knowledge, technical credibility and “grass-roots” outreach provided an ideal platform for discussing key policy issues and solutions impacting clean energy across Ohio. The 17th GEO Annual Meeting Awards Reception followed the Conference.

In November, 2016 Ohio’s Green Energy Future Conference: New Leadership & New Strategiefocused on opportunities and barriers for forward-looking policy and financial strategies to develop the state’s solar and wind energy market in 2017 and beyond.  The Columbus conference attracted 80 attendees representing 55 businesses (including 22 GEO Business Members) and 10 exhibitors on a warm November day

In August, 2016, GEO held the Building Big Solar Across Ohio Conference in Bowling Green, OH. The conference had 104 attendees and featured 19 expert speakers. It was the most comprehensive look at solar energy across Ohio ever presented – showing the statewide extent of currently operating solar energy systems and the growing list of solar installs expected
in coming years.

In April, 2016, Energizing Green Ohio Communities was the theme of GEO’s first-ever, in-depth conference on a dozen key green energy policy issues held at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus. The event attracted 140 attendees including community leaders, professionals, policy makers, business owners, media, educators and students. Tours of the 4-H Center and the nearby OSU Solar Decathlon enCORE House took place along with GEO’s first ever offering on Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for lawyers and non-lawyers on key Ohio green energy
issues.

Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic (PV) Training: Bringing Jobs to Ohio

In 2009-2011, GEO trained 100 individuals in solar thermal technologies at four community colleges across Ohio. Since then, the GEO Solar Thermal Rebate Program has awarded 50 rebates to homeowners, businesses and educational institutions across Ohio. Look for them on the Green Energy Ohio Tour. In November of 2014, the program was upgraded to offer up to 30% of project costs for commercial-scale installations. During 2016, 2 projects were approved with $42,286 in rebates pending completion of the installations. See the GEO web site for details about how to apply for a commercial solar thermal rebate, while limited funds are still available.

GEO coordinated with Jay Warmke, a certified Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) instructor, to offer in 2017 a 1-day PV Training Workshop attended by 13 students in Columbus and in 2016 two 1-day PV Training Workshops attended by 17 students at the Melink Company’s Cincinnati facilities In March and by seven students at the University of Dayton In September. This program allowed beginners to achieve the ETA@International’s (PV1) level 1 certification. Three 5-day PV Training Programs were also offered with more in-depth topics and hands-on training for 11 students at the Westerville Electric Division Offices in April; five students at Melink’s facility in Cincinnati in July; and five students at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds near Cleveland in September.

Ohio Wind Projects

GEO has collected wind speed data at heights of 50 meters or more across Ohio at 31 locations, and performed several wind turbine feasibility studies for businesses, municipalities, schools, and institutions. GEO managed the Ohio Anemometer Loan Program (ALP) from 2006 to 2013 (GEO Wind Program). The ALP provided wind monitoring services, such as site inspection, equipment installation, data validation and program management to schools, businesses, and municipalities who lacked capital and expertise to perform these pre-development tasks. Six former ALP participants have moved forward with wind turbine projects. Wind data summary reports are available for purchase.

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

> Considered the one-stop Ohio sustainable energy clearinghouse, utilizing a web site that experiences over three million hits per year, GEO is among the largest ASES chapters in the country.

> Hosted the 36th ASES National Solar 2007 Conference, the largest annual renewable energy conference in the U.S. with the theme Sustainable Energy Puts America to Work, helping to drive economic development and spur deployment of major renewable energy installations in Cleveland.

> Conducted the Bowling Green wind assessment study (1999-2000), leading to the first utility-scale wind turbines in Ohio.

> Received and analyzed wind data from 31 wind test towers across Ohio (since 2001), including the Cleveland Water Intake Crib–the highest elevation wind test in any of the Great Lakes. Organized statewide wind conferences (2002, 2004), both attended by over 300 participants.

> Received the National Award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (2005) for leadership of the Ohio Wind Working Group over its first three years.

> Assisted in the first in-depth study benchmarking revenues and jobs in the energy-efficiency and renewable-energy industries in the U.S. and Ohio (2007), and potential revenues of $220 billion and more than two million clean-energy jobs by 2030 in Ohio as well as millions more nationally.

> Launched a statewide campaign to educate citizens and policymakers on renewable energy applications and the benefits to communities across Ohio (2006), reaching more than 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties (Renew Ohio).

> Installed a 3.2 kW solar electric power system on the Ohio Governor’s Residence (2004) in collaboration with the Ohio Office of Energy Efficiency and supporting businesses, serving as a unique renewable energy educational exhibit for visitors.

> Brought the first statewide training of solar electric installers to Ohio (2002), and partnered with community colleges for workforce training for solar thermal installers (2009-2011).

> Initiated the GEO Solar Thermal Rebate Program (2009) to provide residential solar hot water system rebates. Modified to provide commercial rebates (2014) for up to 30% of the project cost.

> Since 2011 GEO has hosted the largest event on the nation’s solar tour. In 2016 GEO showcased 141 open houses and 12 guided tours in 50 communities across 28 counties with 11 different green energy technologies visited by nearly 1,000 people.

> Over the past 14 years GEO Tours have showcased nearly 900 specific tour sites in 67 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  In early 2017, nearly 2,400 solar electric (photovoltaic) systems were installed across all 88 Ohio counties.