ByRuss Zimmer, Chillicothegazette.com:
On sunny days, if you stare long enough at Brian McCoy’s power meter, you can see it slowly turning backward.
McCoy, who lives in rural southeastern Ohio, boasts his eight-panel solar array will pay for itself in three years because savings on his electric bill. It also buys him entrance into a unique market, one that is intended to incentivize development of renewable resources in Ohio.
In 2011, American Electric Power was compelled to buy what are called Renewable Energy Certificates representing 6,513 megawatts from Ohio-based producers of solar energy such as McCoy. Each REC is the equivalent of 1 megawatt of produced renewable energy.
The purchase was required by a 2008 state law passed with bipartisan support that directs Ohio electricity suppliers to generate a minimum of 12.5 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2024. This year, 1.5 percent of all electricity must come from renewables, a definition that includes wind, biomass and other carbon neutral technologies. At least .06 percent of the 2012 electricity must come from the sun… Read more