Members of the general public will be able to see solar power in action on Saturday, Oct. 2, during open house events at American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Dolan Technology Center in Groveport and the Wyandot Solar Facility in Upper Sandusky.
Both locations are just a few of the more than 200 open houses and guided tour sites being featured during the 8th Annual Ohio Solar Tour, a free event coordinated by Green Energy Ohio and sponsored by AEP Ohio. The tour provides an opportunity for people to talk with homeowners and businesses across Ohio that showcase alternative energy solutions.
Attendees that visit Dolan will be able to see two types of solar installations: a concentrated solar system and flat panel solar photovoltaic system. The concentrated solar system, which uses mirrors to focus a large area of sunlight onto a small area, has the ability to generate electricity as well as heat liquids that can be used for manufacturing or domestic purposes. The flat panel solar photovoltaic system only has the ability to generate electricity, and its silicon-crystal panels absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Each 1.2 kilowatt solar system can generate approximately 2,500 kilowatt-hours per year. Other equipment available to examine include a wind turbine, a 5-ton ice storage system as well as AEP’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Dolan Technology Center also is the testing center for AEP Ohio’s gridSMART Demonstration Project, which is currently underway in northeast Central Ohio. The purpose of the Demo Project is to test and demonstrate how smart grid technologies provide customers with greater energy control, improve electricity delivery and cut energy consumption to delay the need to build more power plants.
Visitors can observe smart grid technology, including:
• Smart meters
• In-home devices
• A programmable communicating thermostat
• Smart appliances
At the same time on Oct. 2, Mark Gundelfinger, manager of AEP Ohio Alternative Energy Resources, will be on-hand at Wyandot to answer questions about solar energy and the facility’s 159,000 solar panels installed across 77 acres of land. AEP Ohio purchases all of the electricity from this solar generating facility.
Solar research is a part of AEP Ohio’s renewable energy program. “AEP Ohio supports grid-tied solar and wind distributed generation installations as part of its Alternative Energy Resources strategy,” Gundelfinger said. “Customer-owned alternative energy resources facilities will help AEP Ohio comply with the established benchmarks legislated through Senate Bill 221. The bill has established a very aggressive target, and AEP Ohio is committed to meeting the challenge. That’s why it’s very important to participate in this tour to help educate and engage customers and help them understand renewables and their benefits,” Gundelfinger said.
The facilities will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dolan is located at 4001 Bixby Road in Groveport. Wyandot is located at 10692 County Highway 44 in Upper Sandusky.
For more information about additional tour sites, including the times they are open and their locations, visit www.gridsmartohio.com.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at www.aep.com.
CONTACT: AEP Ohio Corporate Communications