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“We ask you to be bold.  You need to really listen to the will of the AEP customers here today, and those sending in written comments who couldn’t come, as well as interested parties throughout the state, who are finally in agreement with at least one big utility project in Ohio.  And not just in agreement, but really excited.  I can’t tell you how many people we’ve talked with about AEP’s proposal, who are thrilled to be able to be FOR something, instead of always having to fight against things of which they don’t agree.”

- Rachael Belz, Executive Director of Ohio Citizen Action

“When I took my solar certification class, of the 12 people in that class, 3 of them were from southeastern Ohio, they were people who had lost their jobs in the coal industry.  The solar industry is providing jobs for unemployed in Ohio.  By extension then, more solar projects translates to more jobs for Ohioans.”

-  Catherine Hope-Cuningham, ETA-Certified solar energy consultant

ETA- Certified Solar Energy Consultant

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“We believe that our world is sacred and a way to experience the divine.  The Dominican Sisters of Peace strongly support this project that will provide an energy source that will not damage this sacred space.”

- Sister Barbara Kane, Dominican Sister of Peace

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“I come before you to give full support for this project.  Wouldn’t it be great if southern Ohio could be known for one of the largest solar arrays east of the Mississippi, rather than overdose deaths per capita?”

- Dan Shirey, Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

“With Solar by Soldiers, we’ll be working, if this project moves forward, along with IBEW and Helmets to Hardhats, in training and employing veterans.  I have five other states that I’m putting them in right now; I should be putting them in Ohio.”

- Darin Hadinger, Owner of Pivot Solar and Director of Solar by Soldiers

Solar by Soldiers

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“Our Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth subsidiary, and I think perhaps others in the JobsOhio Network, regularly run into barriers in attracting e-commerce and foreign firms to Ohio because of the lack of renewable-energy resources available and source in Ohio to those firms.  Most of the e-commerce ventures require renewable energy.  Many of the foreign direct-investment projects we see require renewable energy and we lose those opportunities when we can’t provide that from Ohio generating sources.  We are very strongly in favor of this project.”

- John Molinaro, President and CEO of Appalachian Partnership, Inc.


“We are ready to meet the needs of AEP and the customers for this project, and we think the project should be constructed and get the energy on the grid that will service the southern Ohio area.”

- Brian Damant, Chapter Manager of the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association

Scioto Community Action Organization of Southern Ohio

“The thing is, in Southern Ohio, we need all the renewable energy resources that they’re willing to put out there for us.  We all know that live down in that area, the coal jobs aren’t what they used to be; they’re no longer available.  The steel mills aren’t in the area any longer.  A lot of counties down there rank highest among the state in unemployment, among poverty.  Getting these projects moving forward, getting the manufacturing put down there somewhere in southern Ohio, will definitely help the economy, for all the people involved in it.”

- Trampus Puckett, Board Chair for the Scioto Community Action Organization of Southern Ohio

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“Nationwide, 65 percent of kids go on to higher education.  In southern Ohio, that’s hovering around 35 percent and that’s a shame.  With the potential for 4,000 jobs that this could create, the degree programs it could spring up, the workforce development that could happen, I think others will make the connection between jobs and education.”

- Stacie Hutton, Board of Trustees at the University of Rio Grande

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“Our Board of Directors voted unanimously to support this filing because we believe it is directly and deeply connected to efforts toward a just transition in Southern Ohio.  As consumers demand increased access to renewable energy sources, this project will help Ohio stay competitive in a changing sector.  In our community, citizens have demonstrated clear support for renewable energy sources.”

–  Debbie Phillips, CEO of Rural Action


“The Appalachian counties in Ohio really need a kick start to their economy, and I think this project is the kind of catalyst that can really create economic growth.  Ohio has always led the way.  General Grant and General Sherman led the way to victory in the Civil War; the Wright brothers led us into the skies; John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth; and Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.  It’s time for Ohio to lead the way in this kind of development as well.“

– Robert McCollister, AEP customer from Ironton, Ohio

“Today, the PUCO has the opportunity to contribute to the reversal of this outdated 20th-centry world and endorse AEP Ohio’s proposal to invest in clean energy that will drive a new 21st-century economy.  The PUCO should enthusiastically support AEP’s investments in clean, renewable energy.”

– Charles Lynd, AEP customers from Ironton, Ohio

“As a longtime advocate for fortifying the economies of the small towns and rural communities in the Appalachian region, I believe this project represents one of the best opportunities for sustainable growth and job creation that our state as encountered in generations.”

– Tony Logan, AEP Customer and Immediate Past State Director of the US. Dept of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency in Ohio


“I’m a strong supporter of what I call comprehensive, synergistic integration of energy systems.  This is where the future needs to be.  We have to have them all working together.  It’s not pitting one against the other.  It’s unifying them together to work together.”

– Benjamin Cross, independent contractor to the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative

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“On behalf of our membership, I would like to express our wholehearted support for these projects.  They’ll create thousands of work hours for those in the community that work on them, and the one’s that won’t, will benefit from the monies that flow back into the communities.”

– Scott Stevenson, Director of Organizing for International Union of Operating Engineers

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“I want to highlight that consumers in Ohio, particularly in my community, want renewable energy and they are willing to pay more for it.  Rational consumers are not only concerned about prices; rational consumers are also concerned about how their consumption today affects their consumption in the future.”

– Eddie Smith, Athens County Township Trustee

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 “I have to admit, initially I was skeptical of what the value would be. But in retrospect the fact that it’s much of a story that AEP, a major coal-fired utility, could come together with Sierra Club on a common solution – I don’t know of anybody that’s done that in this position. And for that kind of agreement to be the first, that I know of, it’s just – in some ways it’s amazing.”

– Nick Akins, CEO, AEP


“We have an opportunity to bring the growing clean energy economic benefits to southeastern Ohio.”

– Julie Sloat, President, AEP Ohio


“I simply cannot ignore what I have witnessed to be overwhelming consumer sentiment to add renewable energy to our generation mix. AEP, the largest owner of coal-fired generation in this state recognizes that. And if AEP recognizes it, along with the numerous stakeholders that have signed the stipulation, then I’m on board too!”

– Asim Haque, Chairman, PUCO


“This is the largest clean energy commitment in Ohio’s history. With the stated preference to create new manufacturing jobs and employ military veterans, this is an exciting vision for Appalachian Ohio that we are proud to support.”

– Dan Sawmiller, Ohio Energy Policy Director, NRDC


“Overall, the increase in tax revenues and job creation associated with increased solar deployment will help create a more stable economy for the region.”

– Gilbert Michaud, Assistant Professor, Ohio University Voinovich School