Energy Research and Policy

This page includes reports and studies on local and regional renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy policy and planning that have been conducted for the Oberlin Project, the City of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and other partners. For additional information related to our partner institutions, see the Oberlin College Office of Sustainability website, the City of Oberlin's Reports and Studies page, and the summary of City and College energy commitments.

In September of 2010, Marcy Kaptur, Congresswoman for the U.S. 9th Congressional District, secured funding from the U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory to increase the reliability of the District’s energy infrastructure, the sustainability of its energy sources, and the efficiency by which energy is transmitted and used. This award advances one of the DOE’s main goals moving forward: “To catalyze the timely, material, and efficient transformation of the nation’s energy system and secure U.S. leadership in clean energy technologies." Ultimately, the work resulting from this award prepares the 9th Congressional District to lead the region in its transition away from a fossil fuel-based energy system toward a cleaner, more sustainable future.

The overall objective of this project was to lay the conceptual and analytical foundation for an energy economy in Northern Ohio that would:

  • Improve the efficiency with which energy is used in the residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and transportation sectors for Oberlin, Ohio;
  • Identify the potential to deploy wind and solar technologies and the most effective configuration for the regional energy system;
  • Analyze the potential within the District to utilize farm wastes to produce biofuels;
  • Enhance long-term energy security by identifying ways to deploy local resources and building Ohio-based enterprises;
  • Identify the policy, regulatory, and financial barriers impeding development of a new energy system; and
  • Improve energy infrastructure within Northern Ohio.

Reports and studies:

pdfTransforming and Embracing Innovation in Ohio's 9th Congressional District: Moving Toward Sustainable, Efficient & Reliable Energy. December 2011 report summarizing all district-wide studies.

pdfEnergy Demand/Consumption: Ohio's 9th Congressional District, Palmer Energy Company. Assessment of energy consumption and demand in Ohio's 9th Congressional District as of September 2011, including electric source and residential/commercial/industrial sector breakdown.

pdfImplementing Residential Energy Efficiency: Oberlin, Ohio, Ohio Environmental Council. Covers the state of energy efficiency work in Oberlin, describes common barriers to such work and program designs that overcome them, and lays out several policy options for Oberlin to consider as it moves forward.

pdfEnergy Efficient Transportation Plan for Oberlin and Northern Ohio, Center for Neighborhood Technology. Assesses Oberlin’s existing transportation assets and challenges and lays out a path that will lead to a sustainable transportation system. This plan presents a bold future—one where no fossil fuel is used on Oberlin’s roads and no greenhouse gases (GHGs) are emitted as residents, students, workers, and visitors travel around Oberlin.

pdfEvaluation of the Wind & Solar Resource for Ohio's 9th Congressional District, Green Energy Ohio. Details the wind and solar resources in the 9th Congressional District using wind speed and solar radiation maps, wind speed data, and estimated production from installed wind, photovoltaic, and solar thermal systems in and near the district.

pdfOhio's 9th District: Existing and Future Job Creation Opportunities: PV and Wind Supply Chains, Green Energy Ohio. Identifies existing and future alternative energy job creation opportunities within the 9th District.

pdfEvaluation of the Capacity to Deploy Solar & Wind Technologies in Ohio's 9th Congressional District, Green Energy Ohio. Details the capacity to deploy solar and wind energy systems; identifies resources for homeowners, businesses, and developers that are needed to effectively install wind and/or solar energy systems on the small or residential scale, mid-size or commercial scale, and utility scale.

pdfLocal Sustainability: Menu of Options, Policy Matters Ohio. Using Oberlin, Ohio as an example, details best practices and policies to promote the economic and environmental sustainability of local communities and surrounding areas by increasing energy independence, reducing fossil fuel use and harmful pollutants emitted from them, increasing access to renewable energy sources, and promoting energy savings for local businesses, the college, the city and its residents.

pdfWind Power Demonstration Project Report for Oberlin, Ohio and Other AMP-Member Ohio Communities, Sunwheel Energy Partners and Sustainable Community Associates. Outlines the applicable subsidies and financing mechanisms that can be utilized by wind developers as well as the regulations that may impact a potential project. Includes overview of ways wind installations can be structured, how communities can evaluate projects, and how AMP cities can adapt the proposed Oberlin model.

pdfSolar Power Demonstration Project Report: Roof-Mounted Solar Installations: Oberlin, Ohio and Other AMP-Member Ohio Communities, Sunwheel Energy Partners and Sustainable Community Associates. Outlines the applicable subsidies and financing mechanisms that can be utilized by roof mounted solar projects as well as the regulations that may impact a potential project. Includes overview of ways solar installations can be structured, how communities can evaluate projects, and how AMP cities can adapt the proposed Oberlin model.

pdfSolar Power Demonstration Project Report: Solar Farm Installations: Oberlin, Ohio and Other AMP-Member Ohio Communities, Sunwheel Energy Partners and Sustainable Community Associates. Outlines the applicable subsidies and financing mechanisms that can be utilized by solar farm installations, as well as the regulations that may impact a potential project. Includes overview of ways solar installations can be structured, how communities can evaluate projects, and how AMP cities can adapt the proposed Oberlin model.

pdfBiogas and Anaerobic Digestion Final Report, Solutions in Sustainability. Assess biogas potential from anaerobic digestion of animal waste, crop residue and food processing waste; identifies policy, regulatory, and financial barriers that impede development of farm-based, biogas generation systems that could be part of a diversified, sustainable and renewable energy system.

pdfWaste Heat Utilization Feasibility Study, Brown and Caldwell. Explores the viability of conveying waste heat from the Energy Developments, Inc. (EDI) landfill gas engine-generator complex at the Lorain County Landfill to a nearby facility for utilization.

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