State Representative Margaret Conditt (R-Liberty Twp.) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 289, which would include cogeneration technology using waste or byproduct gas from an air contaminant source as a renewable energy resource.

“The passage of Senate Bill 289 marks a significant step toward Ohio’s ability to respect our environment while creating jobs at the same time,” said Representative Conditt, who sponsored the companion legislation House Bill 443. “I’m pleased that members from both sides of the aisle collaborated in this effort to make Ohio’s future a priority and explore new energy innovations. Ohio is currently ranked 5th in the nation for its potential for cogeneration, but it’s 43rd in implementation. Senate Bill 289 gets us closer to fulfilling that goal.”

Currently during the manufacturing of steel, the majority of this gas produced in the industrial process is burned off in a flare stack and sent into the atmosphere. However, new technology has presented an opportunity to capture 100 percent of this waste gas and use it as a fuel in gas turbines capable of producing millions of new megawatt hours of electricity. Classifying this energy resource as renewable would allow producers to help offset the capital-intensive nature of this new technology.

“It’s rare that we in the Legislature get the chance to pass legislation that has a direct impact on the creation of hundreds of jobs, while benefiting the environment. Senate Bill 289 affords us that opportunity,” said Representative Conditt. “The possible benefits to the state of Ohio are astounding. The cogeneration plants could create hundreds of jobs, generate millions of dollars for our economy, boost the steel-producing industry in Ohio, and displace a monumental amount of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Within Representative Conditt’s district, the AK Steel/Air Products project in Middletown will be able to produce one million megawatts of electricity annually, enough to power 85,000 households. The facility has already received a permit from the Ohio EPA and has secured funding from the United States Department of Energy.

Senate Bill 289 was sponsored by Senators Bill Coley (R-Liberty Twp.) and Joe Schiavoni (D-Canfield) and passed in the House by a vote of 77-9. It will now be sent to Governor Kasich for his signature.


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