An Athens County solar energy facility is another step closer to becoming a reality after county commissioners authorized the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) to issue a request for proposals (RFP), The Athens Messenger reports. SOPEC’s executive director, Roger Wilkens, said RFPs will be issued “asking energy suppliers to quote prices for supplying electricity to city and county buildings,” and those RFPs will require suppliers to “get part of the electricity from solar, and that they build a local solar farm — essentially a large array of solar panels,” according to the article. Wilkens said responses to the requests will specify the size of the array, which must be at least 3 megawatts, and its location; he hopes to issue the requests this month, and the companies will have four weeks to respond. “We would want to build this next spring to take advantage of the tax credits available,” Wilkens said. SOPEC asked Bricker & Eckler LLP to perform “an analysis of the tax generation potential of a solar farm”; the law firm “said a solar facility with a total value of between $6 million and $10 million would generate between $1.63 million and $1.94 million in local tax revenue over 15 years,” calling those figures conservative. For more, read the full article.