Dollars and Jobs from Wind, Solar, and Energy Efficiency

Peggy Emerson, Paulding Chamber

Peggy Emerson, Paulding Chamber

How exactly did your community and member businesses make so much money from wind energy?

That was the burning question one chamber executive asked another during a conversation at last week’s annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio.

The answer was simple: new investments, tax benefits, jobs — all of which translates to better roads, schools, and more, said Peggy Emerson, CEO of the Paulding Chamber in northwest Ohio.

But wind isn’t the only form of clean energy driving economic gains across Ohio.

Other local chamber leaders said they saw significant savings from the rise of solar energy while others investigated how to offer their member businesses access to energy efficiency. (Ohio ranks among the top ten in efficiency jobs nationwide.)

Michael Fraizer, Gov. Kasich’s Assistant Policy Director for the Environment, Energy, and Agriculture, also stopped by the conference, which attracted more than 100 chamber executives. Clean energy is a key part of Ohio’s efforts to be attractive location to major employers—from Amazon with its demands for wind energy to Dannon with its growing demand for solar.

Paulding’s Peggy Emerson went from table to table to share her story about the $200 million investment in wind energy that has been made in her community, where local farmers welcome turbines as a new “cash crop.”

Tom Bullock, CICE

Tom Bullock, CICE

And Tom Bullock, the new Ohio Coordinator for Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, briefed chamber leaders about the wide range of ways local chamber leaders are helping their member businesses take advantage of the growing economic opportunities in clean energy.

WATCH VIDEO of Peggy Emerson explaining how wind development has positively impacted her community here.

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