Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2006
City OKs project pact
NEWTON FALLS The city has entered into a cost-sharing agreement with American Municipal Power-Ohio for the second phase of a proposed hydro matrix project.
Council voted Monday to participate in the preconstruction planning phase. The city will pay a maximum of $42,692. The preconstruction phase includes analyzing the technical and economic aspects of the project. There is no cost estimate available yet on this phase.
Council voted to enter the developmental phase in June and paid around $11,000 of the $1 million spent on that phase, which included cost planning and legal approval.
The project envisions building small power plants using existing dams along the Ohio River. Because they use dam structures that already exist, hydro matrix projects don't involve heavy civil engineering, cost approximately 60 percent of conventional construction on hydro electric structures, have fewer environmental impacts, and produce lower-cost electricity than other methods, according to AMP-Ohio. The city would be able to share in this electricity, either by owning part of the project or by signing a long-term purchase agreement.
Newton Falls is among about 60 communities taking part in the project. The city would have to vote to enter any other part of the project in the future. AMP-Ohio is a coalition of cities that buy electricity in bulk for resale.