July 26, 2021

Summit County commissioners are thinking of local solar programs to achieve the renewable energy transition

Commissioners from Summit County have come with this concept whereby local solar programs can help them realize the transition to clean energy. Michael Wurzel, the Sustainability Coordinator for this county, demonstrated that local solar programs could be adopted to help the county enter the renewables and minimize carbon emissions from the use of fossil fuels.

The sustainability coordinator demonstrated two mechanisms for consideration by the county to realize the county’s dispatch of solar energy. First, the county can enter an existing local solar program and take up its projects to implement them all over the county. Next, the state can decide to develop its solar program at an accessible location in the county.

The first option allows the businesses, firms, and households in the state to enjoy solar from the utility while rating the utility for its efficient services. The advantage of this subscription plan is that electricity is available as needed since the supplier grids are in an alignment that enables the PV panels to collect more energy and store it for supply.

Wurzel explained that the subscription enables the customers to enjoy solar energy at affordable prices. Nevertheless, he explained that there is little assurance that the energy they receive from these grids is genuinely green energy.

The advantage of this energy reception system is that the customers enjoy energy at low upfront costs than when solar systems for obtaining energy are installed in their households. Additionally, people can enjoy electricity from solar without erecting solar facilities on the rented or houses they own, making it the most suitable alternative for those avoiding costs.

On the other hand, the County manager Scott Vargo explained that they are evaluating the possibility of developing a solar garden through their collaboration with the Summit School District. He emphasized that the previous analysis revealed the cost for the development to be higher than adopting a community subscription plan.

Commissioner Thomas Davidson called for the uptake of an affordable energy plan to accelerate the transition to renewables and minimize dependence on fossil fuels, which deteriorate the environment. On the other hand, Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence advocated for the trial of the solar garden program in an area in the county that is exposed to more sunlight. She explained that they must look at this problem from a long-term perspective instead of going for an easy alternative.

To conclude, the commissioners agreed to leave the decision between these two extremes to the next commission that will be taking office early next year. Nevertheless, Lawrence called for the members of the commission to consider the climate objectives that the country expects to realize. 

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