Member Spotlight Archive

Painesville, Ohio

Among the Oldest Municipally-operated Electric Systems in the Country
Published January 2011

As the county seat of Lake County, Ohio, the City of Painesville has a long history in the generation and distribution of electric service. The American Public Power Association’s grouping of Centennial Cities and Towns lists Painesville’s system as the 10th oldest in the country of those communities that still operate their systems. It is also one of the oldest in the state still in continuous operation.

Established in 1805, the town was originally known as Champion. After incorporating in 1832, the town was re-named Painesville in honor of General Edward Paine, a hero of the American Revolution.

The Globe Electric Company provided the first electricity for Painesville. In 1885, the Painesville Council contracted for street lights at $6 per light per month. In 1888, the Council sold bonds in the amount of $12,500 to erect an Electric Light Plant. Over the course of a century, the Painesville Municipal Electric system has grown from a reciprocating engine type generator and steam turbine generator to coal fired boilers.

Painesville currently serves more than 12,000 meters. The city participates in several AMP projects including: OMEGA JV2, Prairie State Energy Campus, Hydro Project, and Landfill Gas Energy. Painesville is expanding its renewable energy, working in partnership with NexGen Energy Partners of Colorado to develop a 3.6 MW wind farm within the next year.

View Painesville’s Website