June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Local businesses meet with energy secretary

NORTH CANTON — U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu came to Ohio Monday to talk about clean energy, which is the focus of some of the projects at Sharon Township’s EBO Group.

Jim Doutt, manager of business development of EBO Group, said he and company Chairman Dave Heidenreich went to the meeting with Chu to fill the secretary in on what EBO is doing with clean energy. One of the subsidiaries of the company, eZE Hybrid Drives, is working on producing hybrid-drive electric buses. Another, IPESsol, is working to make photovoltaic systems to produce solar power.

Several other Ohio businesses were at the meeting, which was held at Stark State College, to do the same.

Chu “got a chance to hear directly from some of the companies that are on the front lines of creating new clean energy jobs here in Ohio,” Tom Reynolds, spokesman for Chu, said Monday. “He wants to hear about the innovation and ideas because it is the product sector that’s going to lead the charge in reviving our economy.”

U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, D-Alliance, and representatives from several economic development groups — including Medina County Economic Development Corp. Director Bethany Dentler — also spoke with the secretary.

Dentler said she wanted to tell Chu and Boccieri about energy-efficient projects being developed in Medina County.

“My goal was really to make sure Medina County was on both Congressman Boccieri’s and the federal government’s radar screens as far as the projects that are going on,” she said Tuesday. “Any time we get an opportunity to showcase things in the region, it’s an opportunity for future funding.”

Chu announced Ohio will receive $25 million through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to go toward energy-efficiency and conservation projects.

“Let’s put these people back to work. Let’s put those buildings back to work, making vehicles for clean energy,” Doutt said. “The opportunities are there. We need to use American ingenuity to capitalize on it.”

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@ohio.net.