Lebanon is in the process of developing solar arrays on 37 acres of non-developable land within a floodplain situated in the city.
The Lebanon City Council has given the green light to a contract worth nearly $14 million with Kokosing Solar, which will oversee the construction of three fixed-tilt solar arrays on city-owned land close to the Glosser Road substation.
These solar arrays are projected to produce around 9.8 megawatts of electricity, accounting for approximately 3% of Lebanon’s total electricity requirements. The primary objective behind this initiative, according to City Manager Scott Brunka, is to diversify the city’s energy sources and ensure competitive and consistent cost savings.
Lebanon operates its own electric distribution network and is a participant in the AMP-Ohio network. The estimated return on investment for this 35-year project is projected at 9.2 years, contributing to enhanced energy source diversity. Over the lifespan of the solar arrays, the city anticipates saving approximately $27 million or roughly $770,000 annually.
Brunka added that the city plans to allocate $4 million from federal funds to help cover the $13.4 million project cost. The anticipated launch of the facility is slated for the fall of 2024.
Currently, Lebanon procures over 370,000 megawatt hours of power annually to cater to its electric customers’ demands. As Brunka mentioned, the city ranks as the seventh-largest publicly-owned electric utility within the state.
According to Brunka, this project is set to enhance Lebanon’s appeal to both existing and prospective customers by providing access to renewable energy. Councilman Matt Sellers expressed his support for the initiative, highlighting its significant value. “It’s a substantial investment,” Sellers noted, “but when you examine the figures, it becomes quite evident and advantageous for the city.”