Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016
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Energy

Power farm welcomes hot sun

Wyandot County facility thrives as crops wither

Solar-sandusky

Public Service Enterprise Group's Wyandot Solar Farm -- near Upper Sandusky in Wyandot County -- has produced more energy than expected this summer. With an abundance of sunshine, the 84-acre, $44 million farm is now performing at or above anticipated 2012 rates.

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While the extended periods of sunshine this summer have been a bane for northwest Ohio corn farmers mired in drought, they've been a boon for Public Service Enterprise Group's Wyandot Solar Farm near Upper Sandusky in Wyandot County, which has been able to produce more energy than expected.

The 84-acre solar farm facility in Wyandot County's Salem Township is performing at or above its anticipated rates for summer 2012, said Paul Rosengren, a spokesman for PSEG, of Newark, N.J. The solar farm opened in 2010 and is the largest in Ohio.

"I can say we are over the plan for this year," Mr. Rosengren said of the 12-megawatt facility.

The $44 million farm can produce power for about 9,000 homes on a sunny day and consists mainly of solar panels that were produced at First Solar Inc.'s Perrysburg facility. PSEG does not release specific output figures and would not give a detailed account of how much energy has been produced this year.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. has a contract with PSEG to purchase power produced at the solar farm. The extra energy produced this summer has been pumped into the power grid, Mr. Rosengren said.

The only hiccup in production this year was when high wind damaged some of the solar panels, Mr. Rosengren said. Those panels have been repaired or replaced, and everything else is running according to plan, he said.

Mr. Rosengren refused to comment on whether any of First Solar's panels at the Wyandot Solar Farm were affected by the high temperatures this summer or last summer. First Solar noted in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in March that some of its solar cells produced in 2008 and 2009 deteriorated more rapidly than their projected 25-year lifespan and had trouble performing at peak efficiency in warm climates.

The company had said it was working to correct the problem.

The solar-panel manufacturer specializes in thin-film cadmium telluride panels, which cost less than other products on the market.

"We wouldn't disclose who the customers were," said Ted Meyer, a First Solar spokesman said regarding the panels that malfunctioned.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.

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