Close vote in Hudson nixes solar deal despite interest in solar statewide.
Hudson city council voted 4-3 against a deal to purchase solar power generated by a local solar business at a lower electric rate. The council members who shot down the proposal felt the city would take on too much risk with a long-term project without significant gain.
Ohio solar business growing even without state funded incentives.
Although the initial cost of solar array installation is quite high, many companies, organizations, and private citizens are opting to go solar for the best electric rate long-term. A local solar installation company, Ecohouse Solar, has seen the solar business improve steadily for a decade and project this year to be their best.
The company has found this success in a state with no state funded incentives like those in the solar powerhouse, California. Ecohouse Solar has already installed panels at about 150 sites.
Solar energy only accounts for a small percentage of electricity in Ohio, but local communities and utilities are beginning to invest in large solar projects to keep electric rates competitive. This is good news for Ohio electric consumers who can expect costs to decrease over time when they compare Ohio electric rates to save money.
Hudson City Council not convinced a solar project is the right move.
When you compare electric costs apples-to-apples, solar energy is cheaper than coal, the dominate energy source in Ohio today. But there was more to consider for the Hudson City Council members.
Approval of the solar project meant entering into a 25-year power purchase agreement and property easement of 15 acres of city-owned land with local business Hudson Shines, LLC. Council members who voted against the project were not confident the business would remain viable for the term of the contract and thought the estimated $35,000-$66,000 in savings was insignificant compared to the risk to the city.
Electric savings generated by the project would amount to 4% or less of the city’s electric budget. However, the annual savings could have been invested in significant community projects.
The future of Ohio solar and electric rates.
Though some projects like Hudson are not approved, the overall trend in Ohio is toward supporting solar energy solutions. This should prove to be positive for Ohio residents because solar energy is cheaper and creates lower electric rates.