City signs on with solar agency

At a combined Wapakoneta City Council Utility Committee and Committee-of-the-Whole meeting on Thursday, the committee informed Solar Planet that they would like to enter into contract with them.

Wapakoneta City Council Utility Committee Chair Steve Walter, along with members of the committee and city officials, agreed to ask for legislation to be prepared to authorize Wapakoneta Safety-Service Director Bill Rains to negotiate and execute a contract with Solar Planet.

Rains explained that Solar Planet would be creating a $10 to $15 million project for Wapakoneta to add another source of electricity so the city is not dependent on just one source, which would be especially beneficial during peak times of the year. The city is responsible only for paying for the power produced.

The planned project is to be built at the east side of Wapakoneta, on Wapak-Cridersville Road, using approximately 10 to 15 acres.

The agreement is for a 10-year contract, and councilors are to vote on it three times, beginning with the first vote at Monday’s city council meeting, when Rains is to have legislation prepared for council.

“I think this is awesome,” Walter said of the project. “My hope is they get this in and up and running and see how painless it is and then evaluate the opportunity to do more projects with Solar Planet in the future.”

Council recently terminated its solar contract with SolarVision, also of Columbus, because the company never met performance requirements from council.

Walter is ready to get the ball rolling with the project with Solar Planet, so a special meeting was held with company representatives to discuss the plan.    

“I wanted everyone to be informed as early as possible,” Walter said.

He said he wanted the company to know the city was interested in them, so they could start the project this year.

“I wanted to make sure we got in on the current round,” Walter said. “I didn’t want to wait until next year.”

Walter said he hopes the project will be completed by Dec. 31, it may be difficult, yet not impossible.

Jerry Corbin, Sales and Business Developer for Solar Planet, also expressed excitement about the project and working with the city at Thursday’s meeting.

“I’m excited about this project,” Corbin said. “Things should go smoothly.”

Corbin said the difference in his company compared to other companies is Solar Planet secures financing and then goes out and develops projects.