City power deal: City, AEP reach agreement for industrial park

A new deal makes marketing the Job Ready Sites (JRS)-certified West Central Ohio Industrial Center even more powerful.

Mayor Rodney Metz announced Monday city administrators have reached a deal with American Electric Power (AEP) for an additional 30 megawatts of power should a large end-user locate in the industrial park.

“This will enable the city to market the site with the knowledge there is reserve power available,” Metz said after Monday’s Wapakoneta City Council meeting. “It will also help an industry to locate here because they will not have the waiting time to gain electric power of a large magnitude.”

The city currently typically uses between 30 megawatts and 38.5 megawatts of power.

Metz attended meetings in Columbus with AEP officials orchestrated by Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council Executive Director Greg Myers and state officials to discuss AEP providing additional electric capacity to the JRS manufacturing site.

City leaders requested 30 megawatts of new electric power be available which was approved by AEP officials.

“We were granted our request and AEP has also given us permission to advertise the site with additional electric capacity,” Metz told the Wapakoneta Daily News. “There will be some upgrades that need to be done to our distribution system at the time an industry is committed to the site. These upgrades will take very little time to make.

“I would like to thank AEP for stepping up to the plate and providing the necessary tools that are needed to promote the JRS site,” the mayor said.

Metz explained he and Myers and other city and state leaders have been working for the past 18 months to bring this deal to fruition.

The upgrades will require a new set of feeder electric transmission lines to be run to the city from the south and then the old lines to be removed. It also will require additional work to feeder electric transmission lines entering the city from Shawnee. Both lines will have to enter the city at the Harrison Street Substation.

He said additional equipment also will need to be installed in the city.

The mayor said he believes this move is encouraging and makes the site more competitive with other sites across the country and more attractive to an end-user.

“From what the state has told us, we are only one of two sites in Ohio that has that capability,” said Metz, who was present at a February meeting with CSX executives regarding the site being certified as a CSX Select Site. “I think this is a tremendous advantage for the city and state and I really do sincerely thank AEP and everyone else involved for making this a reality and giving the city the ability to offer this service.”