Harnessing the sun’s power

Solar energy is the most abundant resource on earth. reports that 173,000 terrawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously, representing more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. When harnessed, solar energy can power smaller products such as calculators and watches, and much larger items including automobiles, companies, and most recently, homes.

A natural, clean energy source, solar energy is environmentally friendly. The U.S. Department of Energy credits the growth in our country’s solar industry for helping pave the way “to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.” The energy department is committed to expanding the nation’s solar market by leveraging the abundant solar energy resources to drive research, manufacturing and market solutions.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy reports that “in 2014, the U.S. brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008.” In its recent report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory touts new opportunities are now available for shared solar programs in neighborhoods and in business sectors.

Solar energy in northwest Ohio

In northwest Ohio, solar energy is taking center stage. Perrysburg is the U.S. manufacturing home of First Solar, a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The company has developed and currently operates many of the world’s largest grid-connected PV power plants, and has been recognized with several awards.

Energy Law

The Toledo Ohio Advanced Energy Improvement Corporation governs northwest Ohio’s energy special improvement district. One individual who played an integral role in the entity’s legal structure and formation was attorney Todd Williams. Licensed in Ohio and Michigan, Mr. Williams has left an indelible mark on northwest Ohio, and has been in the forefront of energy law; specifically as it pertains to solar energy and energy efficiency.

A Cincinnati native, Mr. Williams received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lourdes University and after receiving his J.D., passed the bar on his first try. Working with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Mr. Williams has helped implement more than $20 million in financed energy efficiency projects.

Creating a positive impact in our community

It is the direct impact on the environment that draws him to work with solar developers and advocates. Having negotiated and drafted power purchase agreements, Mr. Williams has helped to bring more than four megawatts of installed solar energy in Ohio. One of the most notable is the solar field near the Toledo Zoo which gives him a particular sense of pride. “As an attorney, it is hard to explain to my daughter what I do for a living. However, now every time we go to the zoo, she gets to see something I worked on,” he says.

Crediting Lourdes University and its Franciscan education for inspiring him in his personal and professional life, Mr. Williams remains a strong Lourdes supporter. He has served as president of the alumni business branch, and as a member of the university’s alumni association board of directors – both as vice president and president. He currently is employed at Todd M. Williams, Attorney at Law, Ltd.