Voters in Columbus, Grove City approve aggregation for 100% renewable energy

Note: The following was posted to the Ready for 100 Columbus Facebook and Twitter pages the day after the November 2020 election.

A seismic shift is happening in the energy landscape in Ohio. Yesterday, Columbus voters approved Issue 1 and Grove City voters approved Issue 10. Both measures enact Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy. #YesForIssue1 #YesForIssue10

Issue 1 in Columbus and Issue 10 in Grove City were the culmination of years of work by our all-volunteer grassroots Ready for 100 Columbus and Ready for 100 Ohio campaigns. We are absolutely thrilled to see both initiatives approved by voters!

By passing Issue 1, Columbus voters have approved the city’s contract with AEP to provide 100% renewable energy at bulk purchase rates. What’s more, the electricity will be supplied through construction of all NEW clean energy projects in Ohio and Central Ohio.

Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Columbus by 1.2 million metric tons – equivalent to taking 260,000 cars off the road. It’s between 11% and 19% of our total emissions, depending on how you count.

It will also kick off a new clean energy industry in Central Ohio, creating jobs while cleaning our air and improving our health. Over 1000 MW of solar and wind energy projects are already in development in Ohio to furnish the renewable energy demand for Columbus.

What’s more, the program will generate up to $1.7 million in community grant funds to address energy inequities in the opportunity neighborhoods of Columbus. It could be used for energy efficiency, renewable energy, solar panels for schools, or lowering power bills for tenants.

The Columbus electric aggregation program will be the largest in the Midwest and third-largest in the country. We thank Councilmembers Rob Dorans and Emmanuel Remy for their championship of 100% renewable energy, and Mayor Andrew Ginther for leading the way.

But perhaps even more remarkable than Columbus passing Issue 1 is Grove City passing Issue 10. Grove City is a majority Republican community, and leaders in some prominent environmental groups told us outright that Issue 10 would fail. They were wrong.

The people of Grove City care about sustainability. They care about clean air, clean water, and the legacy they are leaving for their children and grandchildren. The Grove City Sustainability Committee unanimously endorsed Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy.

With approval of Issue 10, Grove City can now move forward in seeking a utility to provide 100% renewable energy supplied by wind and solar facilities built in Ohio. It will reduce emissions by almost 75,000 metric tons, equivalent to taking almost 16,000 cars off the road.

Grove City Councilmember Ted Berry championed electric aggregation through city government and co-chaired the campaign to pass it with our Ready for 100 Ohio chair Cathy Cowan Becker. It was truly a bipartisan endeavor with participation from both Republicans and Democrats.

If Issue 1 can pass in Columbus and Issue 10 can pass in Grove City, then Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy can pass in any community in Ohio. We hope to see Ohio cities, counties and townships everywhere get on board.

Energy aggregation has been around in Ohio since 1999, and over 400 communities have used it. It’s a way for local communities to take control of their own energy supplies. Any community can use it to demand 100% renewable energy supplied through local clean energy generation.

Ready for 100 is proud that our all-volunteer grassroots activism, including gathering more than 5000 signatures in support of 100% renewable energy, is driving this to happen in Central Ohio. We look forward to the day when all power everywhere comes from 100% clean energy!

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