City of Lebanon Ohio Municipal Solar Installation, Groundbreaking

The City of Lebanon is expanding its municipally owned utility service offerings to include solar power through the Lebanon Solar Power Project. The City selected Kokosing Solar as the Design-Build Partner to complete the $13.4M solar project that will include ground-mounted arrays across three City-owned properties, spanning a combined total of 41 acres of undevelopable land on Glosser Road.

Over the solar system’s lifespan, it is projected to save the City and its utility customers over $27M and will help the City diversify its sources of electricity. The projected cost of the solar arrays will be reduced by about 30% through the federal Investment Tax Credit direct-pay program.

“I am thrilled to partner with the City of Lebanon on this exciting and transformative project for their electric utility,” said Brady Phillips, Director of Solar Operations at Kokosing.  “The project exemplifies how environmental stewardship and financial benefit can co-exist.  The City’s leadership establishes a great example for other municipalities across the Midwest and beyond.”

“The City is committed to ensuring that we provide outstanding utility services with competitive rates to our residents and businesses, and this project will support these efforts while at the same time providing new renewable energy capabilities for our community,” said Scott Brunka, Lebanon City Manager.

Kokosing Solar is expected to break ground in the spring and complete the project by the end of 2024.


About The City of Lebanon, Ohio

With a history dating back to 1802, Lebanon is located in the heart of one of the fastest growing counties in the state, and is supported by an excellent school system, reasonable tax and utility rates, and an outstanding quality of life.

The City’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in our community by providing high quality and cost effective services, while maintaining the public trust through exceptional service and sound stewardship of our resources.

Our vision is to be a thriving and sustainable community that embraces opportunity, innovation and authenticity.

For more information about the City of Lebanon, please visit

About Kokosing Solar

Kokosing Solar (Previously Third Sun Solar) has been designing, building, and financing clean energy solutions for residential & commercial clients across the Midwest since 2000. We bring more than 22 years of solar installation experience as Ohio’s longest-standing full-service solar installer. We serve residential and commercial clients in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and beyond. We are a fully insured and licensed Electrical Contractor committed to delivering safe high performance systems with top notch customer service. In 2022 we became Kokosing Solar and are strengthened by the 71 years of experience of Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.


Media Inquiries:


Kathryn Bigler, Lead Solar Designer

Kathryn Bigler

  • Kathryn is a Lead Solar Designer
  • A fun fact about Kathryn is that she is legally blind, which is interesting due to her detailed work! 
  • She has been with the company for 4 years! 

Can you tell me about your role as a Lead Solar Designer at Kokosing? 

  • “I am a designer. I design the plan sets and ensure they’ll function electrically and structurally.” 


How did you get into the Solar industry? 

  • “I went to school for drafting. I originally wanted to go into architecture and focus on sustainability, and I saw that I needed to understand electricity for sustainability to make sense to me. So, I got lucky and saw that there was a position open. I took it on, and it has been 4 years now.” 

What is interesting about your role? 

  • “There’s a lot of change—my work is consistently changing because there are different jurisdictions and utility companies with different rules, so I am constantly learning and adapting. And I like that.” 

How does your role help in keeping the company successful? 

  • “The industry is constantly changing. I have to learn new technologies and see how we can implement them in the company. Every job is permitted and inspected so I have to make sure that the plan sets are drawn to the manufacturers’ specifications and the national electric code for us to even, for the project to happen. My role is to ensure it passes inspection and design the system to function well. ” 

What does a typical day look like for your position? 

  • “So, I review what the sales team created as far as contracted jobs go, I review site visits, and then I design the plan set based on those constraints and constraints existing at the house. I also do some estimating, so I consult the sales team if they have questions or concerns. I look at new products for us to sell and support our service department with troubleshooting issues.” 

What’s the best thing about working for Kokosing? What stands out?  

  • “Having reliable coworkers, that’s really great, having a great leadership team that supports me, they make me feel heard and valued. It’s really cool that it’s family-owned and union-strong and still growing, and the growth is sustainable. That’s really cool. I would call them a powerhouse and feel really happy about being a part of it.” 

How would you describe Kokosing’s culture? 

  • “Fair, practical, it all makes a lot of since I think, yeah, there’s no funny business, it all just makes sense.”  


How does Kokosing align with your personal values? 

  • “I just think it’s very fair and practical. My values are about keeping myself happy, healthy and successful and I think Kokosing does the same. They want safety, so there’s the success aspect. They want to give to the community. I just think that all those things just make a lot of sense.” 



Do I need batteries if I go solar?

What Are Solar Batteries? 

Solar batteries store energy that is generated by your panels and keep it for when you need it. Do I need batteries if I go solar?  During a power outage or at night, your batteries feed energy into your home. Whether the batteries power just some small, light loads or your entire house depends on your goals and budget!  

There are two primary types of solar batteries: Lead-acid and lithium-ion. The most common type of battery used to be Lead-Acid. Though low energy density and cannot hold much energy, they are both cost effective and reliable. Today, Lithium-Ion batteries rule the market, due to their high energy density, light weight and high efficiency. With these batteries’ users are able to access more stored energy before a recharge.  

How do batteries work? 

For the solar batteries to work, you must have the right equipment.  

The first piece of equipment you’ll need for your battery is the battery bank itself.  Think of battery banks like the batteries that are in our phones and other electronics. The next piece is an inverter, the inverter acts as a distribution point, it can charge or drain your battery. It then converts the electricity to send to your electric panels. A backup subpanel isolates your backup system from the grid in case of a power outage. Next is a meter, a meter measures the energy you feed and pull from the grid, any extra energy that you don’t use, your meter runs it backward and when you pull from the grid, your meter runs forward, this is called net energy metering.  

The Pros of Solar Batteries 

By having batteries, you can save excess energy you produce. You’re producing so much energy, even more than you nee, instead of sending it back to the grid to power local homes, you store it. By obtaining a solar battery you’ll be able to store the extra energy instead of sending it back out to the grid. Solar batteries are great for emergencies, knowing that you’ll have the power you need when the grid goes down. With a solar battery you can store your power during the day, and it will be available at night, and if your battery bank is big enough, it will keep things running for the entire night.  


Do I need batteries when I go solar?  

The short answer is no, you don’t need batteries if you go solar but they are helpful and they do come with many benefits. Installing a solar battery comes with grid independence, energy security, and lower monthly electricity bills.  

What are solar batteries?  

Solar batteries store energy generated by your panels for use when you actually need it, for times like thunder storms and other natural disasters that result in power outages, or for days when your panels aren’t receiving enough sunlight for production, essentially making it to where your home is somewhat immune from a power outage.  

The benefits of using a solar battery  

Energy independence: Installing a solar battery means the less you have to rely on utility. A solar battery will help keep your lights on and phones charged during a power outage. Without a battery, your solar panels will stop producing electricity when the power goes out to prevent feedback to the grid—adding a battery to your system will enable your solar PV system to go into “islanding” mode and become it’s own grid while the power is down.    

Reduce your carbon footprint: When you install a solar battery, you can use all of the clean energy that your panels produce. Without a battery, the electricity your home uses in the evenings or during the shorter winter days will be pulled from the traditional energy grid.   

How do I know if solar is right for my home? 

If you live some place that is prone to natural disasters and power outages or have critical appliances in your home, a solar battery is a great idea. This will also help in maximizing how much renewable energy your home uses.  

Solar batteries aren’t for everyone, however, so it’s important to understand if your goals align with this investment, as they are just that, an investment! 


2024 Solar Module Tariff Announcement

2024 Solar Module Tariff

If you’re thinking about installing solar at your business or organization in early 2024, act now to beat solar module tariffs and maximize the peak sun season to get the best return on your solar investment.  

Starting in June 2024, the solar panel supply market is set to see disruption as tariffs are reinstated on some non-U.S. solar panel suppliers. Once instated next year, the tariffs may impact global solar module inventories and change prices across the board for both U.S. and foreign-manufactured solar modules. 

Our goal is to inform our potential customers about this disruption in the market.  

We believe this is critical information for our clients considering a solar investment for their business or organization in 2024.  

Solar projects can take months to develop before installation begins – between design, permitting, and equipment procurement. While it seems like 2024 is far down the road, planning for these projects is already well underway.  Now is the time to reevaluate your company’s onsite clean energy and long-term investment goals. 

Read more from NPR here. 

American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio Electric Rate Increases

American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio saw Electric Rate Increases in June 2023 for Ohio ratepayers, jumping by a staggering 28%. As an Ohio-based solar installation company, Kokosing Solar is committed to providing sustainable energy solutions to our customers. As ratepayers begin to feel the effects of the electricity rate increases that AEP implemented this summer, we feel a sense of urgency to educate our customers about the benefits of solar energy. 

What are the AEP Bill Changes in 2023?

American Electric Power (AEP) announced in June 2023 their electricity rate changes for Ohio ratepayers, jumping by a staggering 28%. What’s the result? Well, businesses and homeowners across the state already feel the significant increase in their energy bills.  

While historic sources of electricity became more expensive this year, solar energy remains a cost-effective and sustainable solution. In fact, solar costs have fallen over 50% in the last 10 years!  

Going Solar to Avoid Electricity Rate Increases

By installing solar panels on your home or business, you can generate your own electricity onsite and thereby reduce your dependence on the grid. An added benefit? When you go solar you don’t just save money on your monthly energy bill, but you also reduce your carbon footprint. 

As a solar installation company based in Ohio for over 20 years, we understand the importance of finding ways to reduce our reliance on historic energy sources and transition to renewable alternatives. At Kokosing Solar, we believe renewable energy is the key to a sustainable future. 

With the upcoming rate increases from AEP, now is the perfect time for Ohio residents to consider switching to solar power.  

American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio Electric Rate Increases  + Incentives for Solar Installation

In addition to the cost savings and environmental benefits of solar energy, there are also several incentives and programs available to help Ohio residents make the switch. These include the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of a solar installation for homeowners. Business owners have available various programs that offer grants, and other federal incentives for adopting renewable energy. 

Solar Offerings

Here at Kokosing Solar, we’re committed to helping Ohioans transition to solar energy. We offer various solar installation services, including rooftop solar installation, ground-mounted solar installation, solar battery storage, and energy management systems to help homeowners and businesses maximize their energy savings. 

In conclusion, the upcoming rate increases from AEP highlight the need for Ohio residents to consider alternative energy sources like solar power. Don’t let rising electricity rates catch you off guard!  

Our team of solar experts can provide you with a free consultation and help you determine the best solar solution for your specific needs and budget.  

Our team of solar experts can provide you with a free consultation and help you determine the best solar solution for your specific needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about how solar can benefit you and your community. 

First Energy of Ohio Rate Increases

As a family-owned solar installation company based in Ohio, Kokosing Solar knows you pay attention to your energy bills. With the recent announcement of First Energy of Ohio rate increases doubling electricity rate prices for customers in Northeast Ohio, we have heard from more and more of our Cleveland and Northeast Ohio neighbors who are thinking about making the switch to solar. This news is alarming for many households and businesses in the region, who will undoubtedly feel the financial strain of higher energy bills. 

What are First Energy or Ohio Rate Payers paying?

First Energy provides electricity to Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison customers in Ohio.  

If you’re a customer of Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison, you may wonder why your electricity bill went up this year.  

After a competitive auction, the costs for Northeast Ohio energy customers are listed below.  

  • Ohio Edison: 12.39 cents/kilowatt hour  
  • Illuminating Co.: 12.40 cents/ kilowatt hour 
  • Toledo Edison: 12.41 cents/ kilowatt hour 


Why has my First Energy bill gone up?

For more details about the electricity rate increases across Ohio, check out this recent blogpost. 

In short, various factors play into the increasing cost of electricity. The war in Ukraine, Climate Change, and changes in global oil production all play big parts in the price we pay at home for electricity.   

What can I do to lower my electricity bill?

If you’re looking into solar, you’re already thinking about alternatives to reduce your reliance on historic energy sources. Solar power is a renewable and affordable option that can help reduce that reliance on monthly electricity rates. 

At Kokosing Solar, we have been installing solar for over 20 years, and we believe that investing in solar energy is a smart long-term solution for both homeowners and businesses. By switching to solar, you not only save money on your energy bills, but you can also reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. 

Additional reasons to consider solar 

  • Compare this with the prices listed above: Solar power comes in at roughly $0.05 – $0.07 per kWh over the system’s lifetime. 
  • This year we saw electricity prices double, and there’s no guarantee that won’t happen again next year  
  • This rise is far beyond the 3% electricity inflation rate we have historically modeled for our customers. 
  • Net Metering and The Federal Tax Credit for solar make solar an affordable option for many homeowners  
  • The cost to install solar has decreased 80% in the past 5 years  

Next Steps 

If you want to learn more about how solar power can benefit you, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation. Our team of experts can help you determine the best solar solution for your needs and budget and guide you through the entire process from first consultation, through permitting, and financing all the way to installation.  

In conclusion, if the news of rising electricity rates is worrying you, remember that alternatives are available to help alleviate the financial strain. Solar power is a smart investment that can save you money in the long run, and Kokosing Solar is here to help make the transition to solar as educational and effortless as possible. 

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