Ohio is planning $3.5 million grant for the use of solar and wind power in residential projects. The grant is an attempt by the state to increase the use of solar and wind power and turn the state into a hub for the renewable energy industry. The grant will help in creating thousands of jobs in Ohio. Governor of Ohio Ted Strickland, is targeting advanced energy as a key to reviving the state's weak economy.

The Ohio Department of Development estimates that 30,000 new wind power-related jobs would be created. The solar power industry could create up to 8,000 jobs in long-term.

It’s a great building block, said Aaron Godwin, a renewable-energy consultant.

Customers of FirstEnergy Corp., Duke Energy Corporation, American Electric Power Company and Dayton Power and Light Co. will be eligible for the wind and solar grants.

We’re trying for an umbrella effect, said Robert Grevey, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Development’s energy office. An installer could be servicing three to 10 turbine applications, instead of all 10 of those applying separately.

There also are limits on the grants for solar hot water systems.

Only apartment buildings or developments of 10 dwellings or more where water is heated by electricity will be eligible.

As per the outreach manager for the Ohio Energy Office Christina Panoska, there are only a few solar hot water systems in Ohio.

Ohio could take a leadership role in solar-thermal. We want some really significant projects we can point to and get this underway, Panoska said.

The systems move heat from a roof-top panel to a hot water tank, reducing demand for electricity.

Renewable energy incentives for residential markets in Ohio, have led to 17 solar hot-water projects, 31 wind turbines and 88 solar-electric installations in recent years.