Member Spotlight Archive

Oak Harbor, Ohio

The biggest little town in Ohio
Published June 2014

The Village of Oak Harbor, Ohio, located in the hub of the industrial Midwest, grew from land near the Black Swamp and the forest on the bank of the Portage River. Originally incorporated as the Village of Hartford in 1835, the name was changed to Oak Harbor in 1863 and incorporated in 1871. The name was chosen to emphasize the prominence of oak trees in the area and “harbor” for the importance of the river to the village.

The village’s early economy centered on wood-related products and many businesses used the vast amounts of timber in the area until agriculture and factories became more prevalent into the 1900s.

While much of the business and commerce of the area is related to agriculture, today the village has less of an emphasis on manufacturing and more on specialty shops, convenience stores and services businesses.

The Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the popular Apple Festival in downtown Oak Harbor each year. Lake Erie shoreline, beaches, marinas, state park and wildlife refuge all attract nearly 7 million visitors to the Lake Erie Shores & Islands annually.

100 Years in Public Power

The Village of Oak Harbor established itself as a public power community in 1914, celebrating 100 years in public power in 2014.

The Electric Department serves more than 1,800 meters and employees set poles, hang transformers, pull in wire conductors, hook up new services, complete streetlight repair, and perform meter reading. Oak Harbor Public Power is also involved in supplying power for the village’s Fourth of July celebration, Apple Festival, and holiday events.

Reliable service is a top priority and the village has a duty man on call 24/7 to handle any interruptions in power that may occur.

As a member of AMP, Oak Harbor participates in a number of AMP programs and projects that assist in providing reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen-owners. These include:

  • AMP Combustion Turbine, six gas turbine distributed generation units located at three sites around Ohio that supply peaking power
  • AMP Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas combined cycle facility that provides energy and capacity
  • Blue Creek Wind Farm, a wind farm in northwest Ohio that helps diversify AMP’s pool of resources providing power to members
  • Landfill Gas Energy, a mixture of gases produced by decomposing garbage and collected by a series of pipes for use in diesel generator units (landfill gas-to-energy sites directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Municipal Energy Services Agency (MESA), which provides member communities a source of technical assistance including planning, design and engineering, field services and training assistance
  • Mutual Aid, a network of municipal electric systems that assist each other when utility emergencies occur that are too widespread to be handled by one system alone
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA), providing hydroelectricity generated by the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers
  • Northwest AMP Service Group
  • OMEGA JV 2, a joint venture that owns three gas turbine distributed generation units and 35 diesel units with a total capacity of 138.65 MW at sites across Ohio
  • OMEGA JV 5, a joint venture that operates a 42-MW hydroelectric plant on the Ohio River and has back-up generation sources located throughout Ohio
  • OSHA compliance, a contractual-based program that expands on the general safety program
  • Phase 1 Hydro, which includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities currently under construction at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River
  • The Prairie State Energy Campus, in southern Illinois, is a 1,600-MW state-of-the-art supercritical mine-mouth plant and adjacent coal mine

For more information, please visit