Ohio State Energy in the News

Self-Driving Shuttle Bus Shows up on Campus & OSU is Looking to Buy One

Columbus Underground

August 31, 2017

Sharped-eyed observers on Ohio State University’s main campus might have spotted an unusual-looking vehicle cruising around on Tuesday.

Olli is the brand name of a 12-passenger van produced by an Arizona-based company called Local Motors. Designed to be fully autonomous, the rectangular-shaped shuttle was on campus for a “promotional and video shoot,” according to Benjamin Johnson, Director of Media and Public Relations.

Engie CFO on Ohio State energy privatization: 'This is a landmark deal for us' (Video)

Business First

August 30, 2017

Ohio State University is front and center in the country’s changing energy landscape.

Power companies and users alike are reacting to continued decentralization of the electric industry.

Part of this shift includes large power users farming out utility management to energy companies, a tactic typically used at big companies or cities. This year, however, Ohio State became the first university in the country to privatize its energy management.

Incentive plan could help double Ohio’s vehicle charging stations

The Columbus Dispatch

August 30, 2017

The number of electric-vehicle charging stations in Ohio would be poised to double under a rebate proposal from American Electric Power and environmental groups.

…More charging stations, like this one at Ohio State University's Center for Automotive Research on Kinnear Road, could be created through a rebate program proposed by American Electric Power and environmental groups.

OSU researcher helps plan for disasters like Harvey


August 29, 2017

Imagine getting a year’s worth of rain in just a few days. An Ohio State University researcher said that’s how much Harvey has dumped on Houston so far. He said more than 9 trillion gallons has fallen in Texas since the storm started. Ohio State Department of Geography Professor Steven Quiring is the guy the government relies on to know where the power will go out and for how long during monster storms. He helped Texas and federal officials prepare for the devastating storm. In 12 years, he said he’s never seen one like this.

Experts: Megastorms Could Become Norm

Boston Herald

August 28, 2017

Megastorms such as Tropical Storm Harvey, which is expected to dump record-setting rainfall on parts of Texas over the next few days, will be increasingly common if the human factors fueling global warming aren’t addressed, climate change experts warn.

Featured expert: Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, earth sciences

The paradox of electric vehicles

Researchers at The Ohio State University develop a simulation technique to find optimal locations for electric vehicle charging stations.

Today’s Motor Vehicles

August 25, 2017

While sales of electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow each year, they only make up 1% of the current passenger vehicle market. With more consumers interested in purchasing EVs, the vehicle industry finds itself in a difficult situation – consumers are not buying EVs because adequate charging stations aren’t available, and investors are not building stations without enough demand.

Ramteen Sioshansi, associate professor of integrated engineering at The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering, is addressing this Catch 22 using data sets from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) that model the typical driving patterns around Columbus, Ohio.

Featured expert: Ramteen Sioshansi, integrated systems engineering

A changing environment

How will climate change affect Ohio?

The Columbus Dispatch

August 25, 2017

Scientists deal in hypotheses, not predictions.

But there is scientific agreement on one forecast for the future: Our planet is warming, and it’s going to keep getting hotter.

Featured experts: Stuart Ludsin, evolution, ecology and organismal biology; Dan Herms, entomology; Aaron Wilson, senior research associate and extension coordinator for Byrd Polar and Ohio State Extension; Elena Irwin, environmental and urban economist; Jason Cervenec, director of education and outreach for Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

Why we could have more toxic blooms in our warming world

Michigan Public Radio

August 23, 2017

There’s a green bloom of cyanobacteria on Lake Erie again. People who run water utilities and scientists are watching the bloom because the cyanobacteria can produce toxins called microcystins that are dangerous for people and pets. It's what made Toledo’s drinking water unsafe to drink in 2014.

Featured expert: Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

Ohio State’s energy privatizer to spend almost $7M in first batch of capital improvements

Business First

August 23, 2017

The companies managing Ohio State University’s energy assets for the next five decades will spend $6.8 million this year on major projects.

Ohio State Energy Partners – the LLC created by French company Engie and partner Axium Infrastructure – plans to spend the money on four projects, pending OSU board of trustees approval this week.

The temps are mild, but the track is loose as Speed Week begins at the Bonneville Salt Flats

Salt Lake Tribune

August 15, 2017

The drivers and crews of most of the 440 vehicles that made their way from all over the world to this glistening white expanse of salt enjoyed cooler than normal temperatures Monday during the third day of the 69th annual Speed Week.

… One of the most interesting cars is the Buckeye Bullet Venturi VBB-3, an Ohio State University creation that holds the record of 341.40 miles per hour for all electric vehicles.

The streamliner is capable of 3,000 horsepower. The slim 28-foot long vehicle utilizes two electric motors, 3,400 pounds of lithium ion nanosphasphate battery cells and over three miles of wiring.

Watchdog Report: Adjustable pricing, tripled rates, next step in electric deregulation

Press & Sun-Bulletin

August 11, 2017

If you’re still having trouble figuring how to lower your electric bill by shopping for a supplier, just wait until the next advance in utility deregulation comes to your home.

They’re called ‘smart meters,’ and they could upend the way you live, providing a jolt to how a homeowner uses electricity and natural gas.

Featured expert: Noah C. Dormady, professor of public affairs

Columbus 2020 and the Rise of Smaller Smart Cities

Machine Design

August 12, 2017

Forget New York and Los Angeles—it's really the small to midsize metro areas like Columbus, Ohio, that are successfully implementing smart-city programs. ... There are 60 colleges and universities that cater to the Columbus region and in particular, Ohio State University is a main location for innovating applied research for product design, technology commerce, and manufacturing. Its program, the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, works directly with manufacturers to identify and execute growth strategies.

Ohio State plans new $24M food production complex

Business First

August 9, 2017

With all the new development in the central part of the Ohio State University going on, it’s easy to forget that west campus is still an agriculture-dominated expanse. Well, at Ohio State, new construction knows no bounds, and west campus is getting its dirt disturbed, too. Ohio State plans to build a new $24 million food production complex geared toward traditional and urban food security.

OSU president impressed with work of students at Stone Lab


August 1, 2017

Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake toured the school's Stone Lab research facility Tuesday in Put-in-Bay.

"It's really impactful, really important," he said of the work.

For more than a century, the facility has focused on freshwater biology research, science education and outreach.

Project tests whether wetlands can reduce Buckeye Lake algae

The Columbus Dispatch

July 30, 2017

A wetlands research site has joined the scene at Buckeye Lake, hosting a long-term experiment that might someday help cleanse the lake of the blue-green algae blooms that foul the water each summer.

It could take as long as a decade before any conclusions can be drawn, but wetlands expert William Mitsch and a multi-university team of researchers from Ohio State University, Kenyon College and other institutions think they are on to something with the “wetlaculture” project they are conducting in a field in Buckeye Lake village. Wetlaculture combines wetlands and agriculture.

Featured expert: William Mitsch, environmental science professor emeritus

Climate change affects people’s health, students and health officials warn

The Columbus Dispatch

July 27, 2017

A small gathering of students and local health officials on Wednesday raised concerns about Franklin County’s air quality, Trump’s environmental regulation rollbacks and the future of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Defend Our Future, a nonpartisan group that works with millennials to campaign for climate change, had a news conference in Chadwick Arboretum at Ohio State University. Speakers at the event urged students to fight for environmental regulations because they affect public health.

Antartica's Larsen C Ice Shelf Breaks Off

WOSU All Sides

July 18, 2017

The collapse of Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf could be the beginning of a great threat to Antarctica and the rest of the world. The break-off could be followed by many others, resulting in warmer temperatures in the Antarctic and possibly raising sea level around the world.

Featured expert: Ian Howat, glaciologist, professor and investigator of glacier dynamics at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

Researchers using coal ash, scrubber byproducts for reclamation

S&P Global Market Intelligence

July 18, 2017

Researchers are using some of the waste byproducts of coal plants to reclaim old abandoned mine land sites.

"People blame coal for being a part of the problem, but the work we're doing showcases how coal can be a part of the solution," Tarunjit Butalia, an associate professor at Ohio State University, told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Featured expert: Tarunjit Butalia, associate professor, civil, environmental and geodetic engineering

Cleaning With Coal: Ohio State Professor Reclaims Abandoned Strip Mines


July 13, 2017

Though America's coal industry continues to shrink, it's left its mark on earth: Abandoned strip mines, flattened by explosions and the desperate search for fuel.

A steep cliff looms in the distance over one such mine, near an American Electric Power plant just north of Zanesville. This location is just one of many littering the rural landscape of eastern Ohio.

Featured expert: Tarunjit Butalia, professor of engineering

Warnings from Antarctica

The New York Times

July 12, 2017

As the Trump administration dismantles the federal government’s efforts to respond to global warming, the natural world has come calling with a reminder: An iceberg the size of Delaware broke off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf in recent days, yet another indication of the rapid change now occurring on the world’s iciest continent.

Featured expert: John Mercer, deceased glaciologist who published a paper about climate change in Nature in 1978

ALSO: Miami Herald: ‘Maps will need to be redrawn’: One of the largest icebergs ever recorded breaks free