EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) — Scout Solar LLC has big plans for East Liverpool. The solar company based in Tempe, Arizona, struck a deal with the city to power all its government owned-and-operated facilities with solar.
The company bought the old St. Aloysius Catholic School to use for storage, office space and dorms for employees.
“We come in and analyze what their rates are through their current utility provider,” says Matt Brophey with Scout Solar. “In this case … we come in and offer them a lesser rate.”
The projects are made possible through tax credits and investor capital.
Brophey, an East Liverpool native, works with the company. He says there’s about eight locations around town it plans to install panels, including the Broadway Wharf, the water treatment plant and downtown.
“We don’t just do a bunch of solar in a field somewhere and let it do its thing for 50 years,” Brophey says.
The projects will be multi-use and include remodeling the wharf and adding an amphitheater downtown.
Though East Liverpool is no stranger to cloudy, rainy and snowy days, but according to Brophey, that doesn’t mean solar isn’t worth it.
“Just because there are clouds out there, the solar wouldn’t not be producing right now — it would still be producing probably 20 to 30% efficiency right now,” Brophey says.
Scout Solar is also working on a larger system to make up for the cloud cover. Brophey says it’s ready to break ground in as soon as a month and have equipment ready to go.
In addition to its own crews, Scout Solar is committed to hiring locals — like students from the New Castle School of Trade — through the project.
“They will be all be receiving paid, on-site training at these job sites, so it’s a good opportunity for a lot of the locals around here just coming out of school,” Brophey says.
East Liverpool’s operation agreement with Scout Solar is 25 years. After it ends, they’re free to extend it or take over operations.
The company also has an agreement with the village of Wellsville.