5727.75 Exemption on tangible personal property and real property of certain qualified energy projects.

(A) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Qualified energy project" means an energy project certified by the director of development services pursuant to this section.

(2) "Energy project" means a project to provide electric power through the construction, installation, and use of an energy facility.

(3) "Alternative energy zone" means a county declared as such by the board of county commissioners under division (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section.

(4) "Full-time equivalent employee" means the total number of employee-hours for which compensation was paid to individuals employed at a qualified energy project for services performed at the project during the calendar year divided by two thousand eighty hours.

(5) "Solar energy project" means an energy project composed of an energy facility using solar panels to generate electricity.

(B)

(1) Tangible personal property of a qualified energy project using renewable energy resources is exempt from taxation for tax years 2011 through 2016 if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) On or before December 31, 2015, the owner or a lessee pursuant to a sale and leaseback transaction of the project submits an application to the power siting board for a certificate under section 4906.20 of the Revised Code, or if that section does not apply, submits an application for any approval, consent, permit, or certificate or satisfies any condition required by a public agency or political subdivision of this state for the construction or initial operation of an energy project.

(b) Construction or installation of the energy facility begins on or after January 1, 2009, and before January 1, 2016. For the purposes of this division, construction begins on the earlier of the date of application for a certificate or other approval or permit described in division (B)(1)(a) of this section, or the date the contract for the construction or installation of the energy facility is entered into.

(c) For a qualified energy project with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater, a board of county commissioners of a county in which property of the project is located has adopted a resolution under division (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section to approve the application submitted under division (E) of this section to exempt the property located in that county from taxation. A board's adoption of a resolution rejecting an application or its failure to adopt a resolution approving the application does not affect the tax-exempt status of the qualified energy project's property that is located in another county.

(2) If tangible personal property of a qualified energy project using renewable energy resources was exempt from taxation under this section beginning in any of tax years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016, and the certification under division (E)(2) of this section has not been revoked, the tangible personal property of the qualified energy project is exempt from taxation for tax year 2017 and all ensuing tax years if the property was placed into service before January 1, 2017, as certified in the construction progress report required under division (F)(2) of this section. Tangible personal property that has not been placed into service before that date is taxable property subject to taxation. An energy project for which certification has been revoked is ineligible for further exemption under this section. Revocation does not affect the tax-exempt status of the project's tangible personal property for the tax year in which revocation occurs or any prior tax year.

(C) Tangible personal property of a qualified energy project using clean coal technology, advanced nuclear technology, or cogeneration technology is exempt from taxation for the first tax year that the property would be listed for taxation and all subsequent years if all of the following circumstances are met:

(1) The property was placed into service before January 1, 2021. Tangible personal property that has not been placed into service before that date is taxable property subject to taxation.

(2) For such a qualified energy project with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater, a board of county commissioners of a county in which property of the qualified energy project is located has adopted a resolution under division (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section to approve the application submitted under division (E) of this section to exempt the property located in that county from taxation. A board's adoption of a resolution rejecting the application or its failure to adopt a resolution approving the application does not affect the tax-exempt status of the qualified energy project's property that is located in another county.

(3) The certification for the qualified energy project issued under division (E)(2) of this section has not been revoked. An energy project for which certification has been revoked is ineligible for exemption under this section. Revocation does not affect the tax-exempt status of the project's tangible personal property for the tax year in which revocation occurs or any prior tax year.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this section, real property of a qualified energy project is exempt from taxation for any tax year for which the tangible personal property of the qualified energy project is exempted under this section.

(E)

(1)

(a) A person may apply to the director of development services for certification of an energy project as a qualified energy project on or before the following dates:

(i) December 31, 2015, for an energy project using renewable energy resources;

(ii) December 31, 2017, for an energy project using clean coal technology, advanced nuclear technology, or cogeneration technology.

(b) The director shall forward a copy of each application for certification of an energy project with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater to the board of county commissioners of each county in which the project is located and to each taxing unit with territory located in each of the affected counties. Any board that receives from the director a copy of an application submitted under this division shall adopt a resolution approving or rejecting the application unless it has adopted a resolution under division (E)(1)(c) of this section. A resolution adopted under division (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section may require an annual service payment to be made in addition to the service payment required under division (G) of this section. The sum of the service payment required in the resolution and the service payment required under division (G) of this section shall not exceed nine thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county. The resolution shall specify the time and manner in which the payments required by the resolution shall be paid to the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall deposit the payment to the credit of the county's general fund to be used for any purpose for which money credited to that fund may be used.

The board shall send copies of the resolution by certified mail to the owner of the facility and the director within thirty days after receipt of the application, or a longer period of time if authorized by the director.

(c) A board of county commissioners may adopt a resolution declaring the county to be an alternative energy zone and declaring all applications submitted to the director of development services under this division after the adoption of the resolution, and prior to its repeal, to be approved by the board.

All tangible personal property and real property of an energy project with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater is taxable if it is located in a county in which the board of county commissioners adopted a resolution rejecting the application submitted under this division or failed to adopt a resolution approving the application under division (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section.

(2) The director shall certify an energy project if all of the following circumstances exist:

(a) The application was timely submitted.

(b) For an energy project with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater, a board of county commissioners of at least one county in which the project is located has adopted a resolution approving the application under division (E)(1)(b) or (c) of this section.

(c) No portion of the project's facility was used to supply electricity before December 31, 2009.

(3) The director shall deny a certification application if the director determines the person has failed to comply with any requirement under this section. The director may revoke a certification if the director determines the person, or subsequent owner or lessee pursuant to a sale and leaseback transaction of the qualified energy project, has failed to comply with any requirement under this section. Upon certification or revocation, the director shall notify the person, owner, or lessee, the tax commissioner, and the county auditor of a county in which the project is located of the certification or revocation. Notice shall be provided in a manner convenient to the director.

(F) The owner or a lessee pursuant to a sale and leaseback transaction of a qualified energy project shall do each of the following:

(1) Comply with all applicable regulations;

(2) File with the director of development services a certified construction progress report before the first day of March of each year during the energy facility's construction or installation indicating the percentage of the project completed, and the project's nameplate capacity, as of the preceding thirty-first day of December. Unless otherwise instructed by the director of development services, the owner or lessee of an energy project shall file a report with the director on or before the first day of March each year after completion of the energy facility's construction or installation indicating the project's nameplate capacity as of the preceding thirty-first day of December. Not later than sixty days after June 17, 2010, the owner or lessee of an energy project, the construction of which was completed before June 17, 2010, shall file a certificate indicating the project's nameplate capacity.

(3) File with the director of development services, in a manner prescribed by the director, a report of the total number of full-time equivalent employees, and the total number of full-time equivalent employees domiciled in Ohio, who are employed in the construction or installation of the energy facility;

(4) For energy projects with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater, repair all roads, bridges, and culverts affected by construction as reasonably required to restore them to their preconstruction condition, as determined by the county engineer in consultation with the local jurisdiction responsible for the roads, bridges, and culverts. In the event that the county engineer deems any road, bridge, or culvert to be inadequate to support the construction or decommissioning of the energy facility, the road, bridge, or culvert shall be rebuilt or reinforced to the specifications established by the county engineer prior to the construction or decommissioning of the facility. The owner or lessee of the facility shall post a bond in an amount established by the county engineer and to be held by the board of county commissioners to ensure funding for repairs of roads, bridges, and culverts affected during the construction. The bond shall be released by the board not later than one year after the date the repairs are completed. The energy facility owner or lessee pursuant to a sale and leaseback transaction shall post a bond, as may be required by the Ohio power siting board in the certificate authorizing commencement of construction issued pursuant to section 4906.10 of the Revised Code, to ensure funding for repairs to roads, bridges, and culverts resulting from decommissioning of the facility. The energy facility owner or lessee and the county engineer may enter into an agreement regarding specific transportation plans, reinforcements, modifications, use and repair of roads, financial security to be provided, and any other relevant issue.

(5) Provide or facilitate training for fire and emergency responders for response to emergency situations related to the energy project and, for energy projects with a nameplate capacity of five megawatts or greater, at the person's expense, equip the fire and emergency responders with proper equipment as reasonably required to enable them to respond to such emergency situations;

(6) Maintain a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees employed in the construction or installation of the energy project to total full-time equivalent employees employed in the construction or installation of the energy project of not less than eighty per cent in the case of a solar energy project, and not less than fifty per cent in the case of any other energy project. In the case of an energy project for which certification from the power siting board is required under section 4906.20 of the Revised Code, the number of full-time equivalent employees employed in the construction or installation of the energy project equals the number actually employed or the number projected to be employed in the certificate application, if such projection is required under regulations adopted pursuant to section 4906.03 of the Revised Code, whichever is greater. For all other energy projects, the number of full-time equivalent employees employed in the construction or installation of the energy project equals the number actually employed or the number projected to be employed by the director of development services, whichever is greater. To estimate the number of employees to be employed in the construction or installation of an energy project, the director shall use a generally accepted job-estimating model in use for renewable energy projects, including but not limited to the job and economic development impact model. The director may adjust an estimate produced by a model to account for variables not accounted for by the model.

(7) For energy projects with a nameplate capacity in excess of two megawatts, establish a relationship with a member of the university system of Ohio as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code or with a person offering an apprenticeship program registered with the employment and training administration within the United States department of labor or with the apprenticeship council created by section 4139.02 of the Revised Code, to educate and train individuals for careers in the wind or solar energy industry. The relationship may include endowments, cooperative programs, internships, apprenticeships, research and development projects, and curriculum development.

(8) Offer to sell power or renewable energy credits from the energy project to electric distribution utilities or electric service companies subject to renewable energy resource requirements under section 4928.64 of the Revised Code that have issued requests for proposal for such power or renewable energy credits. If no electric distribution utility or electric service company issues a request for proposal on or before December 31, 2010, or accepts an offer for power or renewable energy credits within forty-five days after the offer is submitted, power or renewable energy credits from the energy project may be sold to other persons. Division (F)(8) of this section does not apply if:

(a) The owner or lessee is a rural electric company or a municipal power agency as defined in section 3734.058 of the Revised Code.

(b) The owner or lessee is a person that, before completion of the energy project, contracted for the sale of power or renewable energy credits with a rural electric company or a municipal power agency.

(c) The owner or lessee contracts for the sale of power or renewable energy credits from the energy project before June 17, 2010.

(9) Make annual service payments as required by division (G) of this section and as may be required in a resolution adopted by a board of county commissioners under division (E) of this section.

(G) The owner or a lessee pursuant to a sale and leaseback transaction of a qualified energy project shall make annual service payments in lieu of taxes to the county treasurer on or before the final dates for payments of taxes on public utility personal property on the real and public utility personal property tax list for each tax year for which property of the energy project is exempt from taxation under this section. The county treasurer shall allocate the payment on the basis of the project's physical location. Upon receipt of a payment, or if timely payment has not been received, the county treasurer shall certify such receipt or non-receipt to the director of development services and tax commissioner in a form determined by the director and commissioner, respectively. Each payment shall be in the following amount:

(1) In the case of a solar energy project, seven thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of December 31, 2010, for tax year 2011, as of December 31, 2011, for tax year 2012, as of December 31, 2012, for tax year 2013, as of December 31, 2013, for tax year 2014, as of December 31, 2014, for tax year 2015, as of December 31, 2015, for tax year 2016, and as of December 31, 2016, for tax year 2017 and each tax year thereafter;

(2) In the case of any other energy project using renewable energy resources, the following:

(a) If the project maintains during the construction or installation of the energy facility a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees to total full-time equivalent employees of not less than seventy-five per cent, six thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of the thirty-first day of December of the preceding tax year;

(b) If the project maintains during the construction or installation of the energy facility a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees to total full-time equivalent employees of less than seventy-five per cent but not less than sixty per cent, seven thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of the thirty-first day of December of the preceding tax year;

(c) If the project maintains during the construction or installation of the energy facility a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees to total full-time equivalent employees of less than sixty per cent but not less than fifty per cent, eight thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of the thirty-first day of December of the preceding tax year.

(3) In the case of an energy project using clean coal technology, advanced nuclear technology, or cogeneration technology, the following:

(a) If the project maintains during the construction or installation of the energy facility a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees to total full-time equivalent employees of not less than seventy-five per cent, six thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of the thirty-first day of December of the preceding tax year;

(b) If the project maintains during the construction or installation of the energy facility a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees to total full-time equivalent employees of less than seventy-five per cent but not less than sixty per cent, seven thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of the thirty-first day of December of the preceding tax year;

(c) If the project maintains during the construction or installation of the energy facility a ratio of Ohio-domiciled full-time equivalent employees to total full-time equivalent employees of less than sixty per cent but not less than fifty per cent, eight thousand dollars per megawatt of nameplate capacity located in the county as of the thirty-first day of December of the preceding tax year.

(H) The director of development services in consultation with the tax commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement and enforce this section.

Cite as R.C. § 5727.75

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.48, SB 232, §1, eff. 6/17/2010.