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  • WKBN

    East Liverpool going green with solar panels

    By Jon Rudder,


    EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – East Liverpool is going green using solar panels to power city buildings.

    The city will work with the company Scout Solar which recently completed a 300 kilowat solar canopy in Wellsville near the village’s water treatment plant.

    Richard Perkins is the co-founder of Scout Solar.

    “I think it can be huge for this area. They have virtually no solar right now,” said Perkins.

    The project will feature more than 4,000 bifacial solar panels slated for pump stations on Laura Avenue, Haywood Street and Broadway Wharf.

    “They produce electricity from both sides. The front and the backside. So if there is a reflection from the water, the car windshield, from shiny rocks on the ground — anything that might reflect sunlight — you get additional power from the back of the panels,” Perkins said.

    Scout will effectively serve as the provider. Currently East Liverpool purchases power from AEP. However, Scout’s solar power won’t zap their budget as much.

    “We own the solar system. We put it in 100 percent at our cost. The city purchases the power from us over the next 25 years,” said Perkins.

    As solar technology has progressed, the entire panel, particularly the bifacial panels, can be completely repurposed later on. The glass, copper and aluminum can all be reused.

    “When we first started in this business we could only find one firm that would take these panels in to recycle and we suspected they were just stacking them. They were charging us $75 a panel to take them. That same company is now paying us to take the panels because they are able to recycle every bit of those panels,” Perkins said.

    Scout is currently waiting on permits from the state to kick off the project at Broadway Wharf — a job that will also give the entire Wharf a much-needed facelift.

    “We’re adding additional shade. We’re adding additional purpose. We’re not just taking over someone’s land and covering it with solar panels” he said.

    “Down there as you’ve seen, it’s kind of in disrepair. Most of it is unusable. We were going to come in, put our solar structure in place and then redo the seating structure and the viewing area there.”

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