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Edgerton discusses solar power agreement

This article is brought to you by The Bryan Times

By Lucas Bechtol lbechtol@bryantimes

Jun 21, 2022

Edgerton Village Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles explained a potential solar field project through American Municipal Power during Tuesday’s village council meeting.

Photo by Lucas Bechtol

EDGERTON — Edgerton is looking into supplementing its electrical grid with solar power.

Village Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles said the town’s energy sources include just over 25% renewable energy but they don’t currently have solar. That may change soon, though.

In 2021 American Municipal Power sent out requests for proposals for a front-of-the-meter solar purchase power agreement (PPA).

“What that means, so our community, we have a master meter, that’s the power flowing within our community,” Fitzcharles said. “We have behind-the-meter generation, which would be the generators out at the industrial park. But you can also feed into a purchase power agreement or joint owners for what they call front-of-the-meter.”

A behind-the-meter system is one that can provide power on-site without passing through a meter. A front-of-the-meter system provides power off-site and must pass through an electric meter, first.

That means, Fitzcharles said, the solar field would be located outside of Edgerton, but they would still reap the benefits of the energy and various energy credits.

Edgerton officials previously showed interest but requested more information.

One potential issue, though, is costs for such a solar field project have increased since the idea first started, Fitzcharles said, caused in part by tariffs.

She said they would still like to consider the project, but with some conditions.

“What (AMP is) asking is we consider passing a resolution to join this project but, before anything would be fully executed, we would have the full energy schedule, the opportunity to review the terms and conditions and offer our municipal representatives to get involved further,” Fitzcharles said.

It would take a couple years to get it started.

Council approved the resolution with a 5-0 vote. Councilman Chuck Wallace was absent.

Separately, council heard about a new bike patrol program through the Edgerton Police Department.

Police Chief Gary Plotts Jr. had two of the bicycles in the council chambers to show off, saying the program was the idea of Sgt. Justin Coffman.

“Sgt. Coffman came in two or three months ago to pitch it; I told him to run with it,” Plotts said. “Everything so far is all donated. It hasn’t cost the village a penny.”

The bikes came from the Williams County Sheriff’s Department and are also outfitted with packs behind the seat.

The program will help save the department money on gas and also allow officers to get more involved in the community.

“We’ll be out and about, so look for us; We’ll be losing some weight, probably,” Plotts said.

In other business, council:

• Entered a closed, executive session with no action reported by press time.

• Heard from Plotts that the department received roughly $19,000 in grants from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to purchase ballistic vests for every member of the police force. The village will be responsible for $6,000 of the cost. Council approved the appropriation for that purchase.

• Heard about energy efficiency programs available to businesses, industry and residents through Efficiency Smart.

• Fitzcharles said the water tower project is set to start Aug. 8 and be finished in October.

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