JC council considers solar energy

By Alexandra Newman - [email protected]

JACKSON CENTER — Discussion on a solar field, and the solar energy gathered from it, continued at the Jackson Center Village Council meeting Monday night.

Currently the village is working with American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) to figure out how much energy the village could easily use from the solar field.

Originally AMP recommended 410 Kilowatts, then the numbers were looked at again, and the recommended now is 730 Kilowatts.

This takes into consideration the other energy sources the village uses, and allows the solar energy to fit in right with it. It also looks at the rates the village will have to pay for the energy, and how the rates would change depending on the market, making AMP the most cost effective option for purchasing solar energy.

Brandon Poddany, manager of marketing/member relations at AMP, showed the council a few different scenarios they could be looking at.

“The main number we’re looking at is $33 per megawatt hour flat rate for a 25 year contract. There’s four parts to the rate – the contract rate, credits, emissions, and savings,” he said.

AMP makes their rate levelized (at $33) because for the first few years they wouldn’t receive certain credits because of the way they are built, so they don’t have to pay a higher price at the beginning of the contract.

If the market were to change, it would change this price. If any of the four parts go up in value, the $33 will go down, Poddany said.

If the village would decide to go with more than 730 Kilowatts, in Poddany’s opinion, they would be oversupplied and would have to sell a lot of energy back – which they would be paying more for it than they were selling it for.

Discussion will continue on the village’s options regarding solar power at upcoming meetings. They have looked at Minster’s solar field, and plan to look at other’s to get a good idea of that they’re getting into.

Also at the meeting, Council Member Larry Wahrer gave the financial report for June. For the first half of 2016, their revenues exceeded expenditures by over $238,000. The only month they had expenditures over revenue in the six month period was June. This was due to paying for their debt service for the water and sewer, and their property and liability insurance. Their income tax for the first six months was $635,529, which is about $140,000 greater than this time last year.

“If we go back to 2009 during the Great Recession, it’s $350,000 more, you can see that effect the recession had,” Wahrer said. “Every month in 2016 we exceed 2015. All in all our first six months was very good. … If the last six months are like the first six we’ll be in good shape.”

By Alexandra Newman

a[email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.