A 228-panel solar field is set to installed on West Road just east of Wellington by the Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative, with construction beginning between late February and early March.
Part of a $4 million statewide project consisting of 23 Ohio electric cooperatives called Our Solar, it will be located directly behind the LMRE offices at 22898 West Rd.
“At LMRE, we believe in strength in numbers,” said general manager Markus Bryant. “Installing a renewable energy project on your own can be expensive and difficult for most people. However, by working together as a cooperative, we can make it a more affordable and viable option.”
Customers will have the option to buy output from one to five panels on one, five, or 10-year agreements, with that output being added into their existing electric bill.
A five-panel subscription will generate approximately 200 kilowatt hours per month, or 15 to 20 percent of the average LMRE member’s monthly use.
Power generated by the field will supplement LMRE’s coal-based energy and a subscription to a single panel should cost around $2 per month, according to the cooperative.
This comes after plans to install a 20-acre solar field near the Wellington Reservation on Jones Road were put on hold due to a bald eagle’s nest discovered there in March 2016. Large job cuts at First Solar in Toledo, the country’s largest solar panel manufacturer, also stalled development.
Proposals to build a field were first brought before Wellington village council in 2009 and resulted in a memorandum of understanding in 2015 with SolarVision, an energy company based out of Dublin.
The village is not involved in the funding of the project on West Road.
The new solar field should be operational in the spring. LMRE will gather use data before introducing the program at its annual meeting in July with subscriptions being accepted soon thereafter.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.