Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
has collaborated with the Ohio Development Service Agency Office of Energy on a new solar energy supply chain database to promote Ohio companies.
Scott Miller, Director of Energy and Environmental Programs at the Voinovich School, says technological innovators as well as Ohio manufacturers stand to benefit “by knowing first and foremost who else applies to their specific niche.” For example, if a company is looking for specific grades of material or wiring harness, the database will provide a list of options to select from. “It’s folks who are in the material processing industry who make silica wafers or make unique applications for solar panels who will find this very useful,” explains Miller.
The project was financed by the development agency to capture and catalogue all the different companies and individuals that are involved in the solar supply chain within the state of Ohio. Miller says an existing database recorded only 50-75 companies. “We’ve come up with 275 companies.” An online mapping program highlighting the new database is available at ohiosolarenergy.org
Not only does the database aim to assist those in existing technological fields, but aid in the discovery of something new. “Folks may find there are opportunities that aren’t being met, and they can use this database to identify what those unmet needs are and grow new services or new techniques, new materials that may help advance the industry,” says Miller, noting there’s still much to be done.
“I think we’ve only begun to scratch the service in terms of using tools like this for identifying unique applications in the state and nation.”
Source: Scott Miller
Writer: Joe Baur