Lebanon to build solar arrays to generate electricity for customers

Project will diversify energy sources, payback in 9.5 years

Lebanon plans to have solar arrays built on 37 acres of undevelopable land in a flood plain in the city.

Lebanon City Council Tuesday approved a contract for nearly $14 million with Kokosing Solar for the construction of three fixed-tilt solar arrays on city-owned property near the Glosser Road substation. The solar arrays would be able to generate about 9.8 megawatts of electricity or about 3% of Lebanon’s electric needs.

City Manager Scott Brunka said the goal was to diversify its sources of electricity and provide competitive and stable savings for the city. The city owns and operates its own electric distribution network and is a member of the AMP-Ohio network.

City officials said the 35-year project estimates a return on investment after 9.2 years and will diversify its electricity sources. Savings to city is projected at $27 million or about $770,000 a year over the life of the solar arrays.

Brunka said said the city will use $4 million in federal funds to help pay the $13.4 million cost.

The target operational start-up of the facility is expected in the fall of 2024.

Lebanon purchases over 370,000 megawatt hours of power per year to meet the needs of the city’s electric customers. The city is the seventh-largest publicly-owned electric utility in the state, Brunka said.

Brunka said the project will increase Lebanon’s marketability with existing and future customers by providing access to renewable energy.

Councilman Matt Sellers said, “It’s a large investment,” he said. “But if you break down the numbers, it’s sort of a no-brainer for me and would really be beneficial to the city.”

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