Construction of a 250,000-kilowatt solar panel array at the Pilkington North America site in Northwood is tentatively scheduled to start the second quarter of next year, according to the engineering firm overseeing the project.
A federal grant of $680,782 for the installation of the array was awarded through the state energy component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Kara Allison, Director of Government and Community Relations for Hull & Associates, said the firm is working with Pilkington to structure the project so it can be owned and operated by Hull or one of its affiliates.
Construction of the solar field should be completed by the third quarter of 2010, she said, adding it is intended to supply power to Pilkington’s research and development facility.
As proposed, the solar field will be constructed in a Brownfield area of the property near the rear of the current Pilkington plant 21, Allison said.
Allison said more details on potential cost savings will be available once details of the deal between Pilkington and Hull have been completed. She said Pilkington will not be required to provide any matching funds for the project under a proposed deal format.
Northwood Administrator Pat Bacon said the project could be a boost for industrial development in the area.
She said the city and Wood County have applied for a grant through the Ohio Department of Development to clean up a Brownfield site on adjacent property that had been owned by Libbey-Owens- Ford.
The property is now owned by a private investor, she said, and passed a preliminary review by state development officials to be considered for the grant, which would fund a study of the site.
“It meets all their criteria,” Bacon said. “We’ll find out next spring if we receive the grant.”
In all, 25 Ohio wind and solar projects received more than $13 million in grants through ARRA funding.
The awards are the first to be awarded from Ohio’s State Energy Program, which was accepted by the U.S. Department of Energy on June 26.
Gov. Ted Strickland announced the awards while at the Lincoln Electric Co. in Euclid, O.
That company is receiving a $1 million grant for a wind turbine project.
Other area projects to receive ARRA funding through the state include:
• Toledo Museum of Art received $282,264 to install a 100-kilowatt solar rooftop system.
• Toledo Zoo received $306,837 to install a 103-kilowatt solar system.
• Toledo Electric Joint Apprentice and Training Committee received $420,000 to install a 100-kilowatt wind turbine to serve as a training tool.