Beau Dusz
Ohio.com correspondent

Wadsworth officials turned down a proposal to build a solar farm to generate electricity on city-owned land.


The proposal had been offered by AMP Ohio, the consortium of cities with community-owned electricity distribution systems, of which Wadsworth is a member. Wadsworth purchases electricity wholesale through AMP Ohio and sells it to customers at competitive rates.



AMP Ohio wants to build a number of solar-powered plants in Ohio and use Wadsworth as one of those sites. Adding solar power gives AMP Ohio another renewable electricity generating source. Other renewable sources being used include water, wind and landfill gas generations.



The city's Electric Supply Advisory Committee discussed the proposal and deadlocked by a 2-2 vote on deciding a recommendation. Then, City Council's Public Service Committee took up the issue and unanimously turned it down by 0-3 vote.



At the Public Service Committee discussion, member Tim Eberling said it was too expensive while Committee Chair Bruce Darlington noted the risk seemed to outweigh the benefits.



Committee member Dennis Shultz, who also voted against the proposal, wanted to know what the solar-powered generating farm would do for the consumer. Darlington said electricity has to be purchased, but there was no assurance this source would provide a lower cost for the consumer.



Service Director Chris Easton told the Public Service Committee that the Electric Supply Advisory Committee wrestled with whether the proposal made any sense. According to Easton, traditionally generating electricity by solar power is expensive and usually not available when the sun is not shining.



If it would have been built, the farm would have consisted of a series of flat panels, possibly on land owned by the city near the intersection of Johnson and Silvercreek Roads.



Wadsworth supplies electricity to city residences and businesses as far north as Sharon Center, as far east as Norton, as far west as Guilford Township and as far south as Wadsworth Township.