Solar panels could be soaking up the sun by 2016

By Kelsey Leyva -

A field of solar panels on Wellington’s southern end will start generating power in the first quarter of 2016.

That’s when the green energy project village manager Steve Pyles has been working on is expected to come to fruition.

The idea of bringing solar power to the village was first presented to council in 2009, according to council member Hans Schneider. He said Wellington has been approached by a few different companies over the years, but none of those plans ever worked out.

At an April 21 council meeting, Pyles reported that he was working on a memorandum of understanding with a company called SolarVision. The Dublin-based company claims to create “innovative solutions for financing and developing utility-scale solar power systems.”

Also involved in the project is Advanced Distributed Generation. The Toledo-based company will be assisting with the design and installation of the solar field.

Schneider said the solar field will cover about 10 acres of land at the south end of the village near the Wellington Reservation.

“They’re going to pay the village to use the land,” he said. “They’re basically paying to rent the space.”

He said he wasn’t sure about the length of the contract or how much money it will generate, but he expects it to bring the village a good source of revenue.

The project is still in the planning stages and needs to be presented to the planning commission before trees are cut down or solar panels are brought in.

Schneider said he expects a final proposal to be presented at council’s Sept. 23 meeting.

Some residents expressed concerns about trees needing to be cut down, but at the council meeting on Sept. 8 Pyles said some clear-cutting is necessary.

“They need to get the sun hitting those panels as much and as often as possible,” Schneider said.

“It’s a win-win situation for the village,” he said. “It’s land we’re not using right now. Someone’s going to come in and pay us to use it and at the end of the contract I expect that we’ll have the option — I’m assuming because that’s how it was in the previous ones — to keep it for ourselves.”

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

By Kelsey Leyva