The Ohio Caverns’ solar PV system went online in December, 2017, and has produced 110 megawatt hours of electricity so far. This amount of energy is equivalent to powering 9 to 10 homes in a year, 27 tons of waste recycled, or 85,038 pounds of coal burned each year. (See our earlier post here.)
It consists of 160 ultra-high-efficiency solar panels. After the LED lighting upgrade that Ohio Caverns completed with OGW Energy Resources in 2016, the PV solar field was designed to offset 100 percent of their kWh usage.
The PV system was designed to make Ohio Caverns a net-zero facility – to generate all of the electricity that Ohio Caverns needed. “Our expectation was to become a net-zero facility. Those goals were absolutely attained,” Eric Evans, the owner of Ohio Caverns, said.
“We have been stewards of this property for about 120 years,” he added. “We felt that this fit so well with our mission of education, stewardship and preservation of this natural resource. It was absolutely the direction we needed to go as a company and as a tourist attraction. “
Eric is monitoring advances with storage technology, and can see a day when they are completely off the grid.
“We’re just really excited about it,” said Eric.
We’ll have the complete video of the interview with Eric in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, plan a holiday season trip to Ohio Caverns. They are open all year round (except Thanksgiving and Christmas). And remember – even if it’s freezing outside, it is always 54 degrees in the cave.