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Harnessing the sun with OurSolar

March 4, 2022

Members attending the OurSolar open house in September 2018.

The Lancaster OurSolar array, built in 2018 as part of a statewide project to add more renewables to our energy mix, is located right next to the new South Central Power headquarters. It has 1,962 panels, producing about 35 kilowatt-hours per month. Members who chose to participate pay a slightly higher rate for the energy the panels produce, reflecting the true cost of generating that energy. Over the past year, the total cost averaged less than fifty cents per month, per panel. South Central Power members have signed agreements accounting for all the panels.

Member Ken Ekegren, a retired professor living in the Canal Winchester area, says when he and his wife built their home in 2018, they wanted solar but found the home site wasn’t well suited for it. “I taught alternative energy and have always had an interest in things like solar and electric vehicles,” Ekegren says. “When I read about the OurSolar opportunity, I wanted to give it a shot.”

Ekegren attended the OurSolar open house to get an up-close look at the system and signed up to subscribe to ten panels, which he says produces between 250 and 350 kWh of energy per month, based on his monthly billing statements. “Last year, we bought a plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler, which uses around 200 kWh per month, so I like to say it’s powered by solar,” he says.

Since it went into production, the Lancaster solar array has generated 2,704,302.35 kWh of electricity. That is equivalent to:

  • 24,068 lights powered for a year
  • 13,533,097 hours powering a 200w 42” LCD TV

And offset CO₂ emissions equal to:

  • 213,910 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • 2,001,183 lbs of coal burned

Statistics as of January 2022

Members can track the output of our solar array on our website:
https://www.southcentralpower.com/electrical-services/renewable-resources/oursolar/.

From the March 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.