Athens city council planning and develoment committee

Athens to go renewable with the addition of solar panels

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — After nearly six years spent buying and a year and a half of setting up, Deputy Service Safety Director Andrew Chiki and Third Sun Kokosing Solar owner Andrew Greenfield are ready to install solar panels across Athens.

The solar panels will be installed across three locations: the community center, the city pool parking lot, and the Holiday Inn. The three locations were picked because they are all high energy producers.

The city will be working with Third Sun Kokosing Solar, a local business on West Union Street. After partnering with Kokosing, and adding it to their name, Greenfield said he thinks his company is more prepared to move into the future of renewable energy.

Andrew Greenfield's third sun Kokosing solar building
Andrew Greenfield’s Third Sun Kokosing Solar has been a big help in helping Athens go renewable. [Juliana Colant | WOUB]
This switch means a cut in costs, and Mayor Steve Patterson said he is excited about what that will mean for the city of Athens.

“The savings alone for our grid energy cost, you know we purchase from AEP just like everyone else in the city,” He said during Monday’s committee meeting.

Patterson also discussed where the money that is saved could be allocated. He mentioned debt service and other city projects as possible places this newfound money could go.

Not only will this new project save money, it will also go a long way to saving the environment form CO2 emissions. Greenfield said it will save 1,834 metric tons of CO2. Spread out over the full 30-year life that the panels are designed to last, these solar panels will save the equivalent of over 4.5 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.

Because of the positive impact on the environment, Athens citizens have been in support of this. The citizens have been pushing for the change to renewable energy, and that is something City Council, including member Micah McCarey, have noticed.

“Citizens have been indicating that reliance on nonrenewable energy resources has been a top environmental concern,” McCarey said.

For a long time, Third Sun Solar’s mission was focused only on building a future of renewable energy, but after partnering with Kokosing, they have added the creation of jobs to that mission, Greenfield said.

Installation of the solar panels is currently scheduled to start this upcoming winter.