Despite Ohio lawmakers efforts to curtail renewable energy, communities such as the village of Minster are moving ahead with projects that include a combination of solar and energy storage. Minster’s municipal utility built a 4.3-megawatt solar project on 18 acres of land above its water well field, and then worked with a contractor to add a 7-MW battery storage system that can instantaneously move electricity into the regional PJM transmission grid. Because of the efficiencies of siting solar and storage together, the village’s long-term contract for power at 7 cents a kilowatt-hour is less than or equal to the costs of imported power. The combined system has sparked interest from other municipal power companies worried about rising long-distance transmission costs and increasing utility fees. In fact, said the developer of Minster’s system, it was the Ohio Legislature’s rollback of clean energy that prompted the move to combine projects in order to protect its previous investment in solar.
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