In 2017, the City of Bowling Green began receiving electricity from the largest solar installation in the State of Ohio. The 165 acre solar field, located at the corner of Newton Road and Carter Road, began construction in July 2016. The site consists of more than 85,000 panels and is capable of producing 20-megawatts (MW) of alternating current electricity. In an average year, it is expected to produce an equivalent amount of energy needed to power approximately 3,000 homes. It will also avoid approximately 25,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year since the energy is generated from a non-fossil fuel resource.
Along with sustainable benefits, the project will also have economic benefits for the City. By having the generation supplied “behind the meter”, the City will see lower capacity and transmission charges, as well as on-peak energy delivered at times when customer demand for electricity is highest.
The site was built, and is owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The power generated will be sold to American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) under a multi-year contract. AMP will then sell this clean energy to the City and other participating AMP member utilities. AMP partnered with NextEra to construct and operate up to 80 MW of new solar generation in other member communities. Additional solar sites are already under construction and more are planned in Ohio, Michigan, and Delaware.
Wind Turbine Farm
If you’ve ever tried to cross the BGSU campus during a blustery winter day or had the plates at your picnic blown clear off the table by a sudden gust of wind, perhaps you’ve heard someone say “that’s why they call it ‘Blowing’ Green!
We can’t deny. There are days that the wind here is powerful. But every cloud has its silver lining. For our community, the silver lining comes in the form of four utility sized wind turbines. Located near the City, on State Route 6 at the Wood County Landfill, these impressive turbines are as tall as a 30 story building and generate up to 7.2 megawatts of power—enough to supply electricity for approximately 2,500 residential customers. It’s hard to miss these 257 feet turbines as you approach Bowling Green.
Throughout the State of Ohio, you will find many wind turbines turning a natural resource into energy. A fun fact is that Bowling Green was the first utility-sized wind farm in the state. Bowling Green is proud of its partnership with American Municipal Power that located these wind turbines in our community.
In addition to the wind turbine partnership, the City of Bowling Green is a leader in utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar and hydro, and investing in ways to reduce energy usage. The premise is simple: if we reduce the amount of energy used, we don’t have to buy as much. As a consumer-owned utility, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities believes strongly in reducing the amount of energy purchase. The City’s Efficiency Smart Program (http://www.efficiencysmart.org/) helps customer lower their electric bill through energy efficiency and guides them to savings through financial incentives and expert advice. Residents along with business and industrial customers have derived benefits from this innovative and helpful program. Customers may also participate in the City’s EcoSmart Choice Program where they can voluntarily sign up for “Green Pricing” to support renewable energy development. Check out the information here.
So the next time a cold breeze hits you or a gust of wind blows the hat off your head, remember that there is an upside to being in “Blowing Green.”