Member Spotlight Archive

Wadsworth, Ohio

Retaining the past while embracing the future
Published January 2016

Founded in 1814, Wadsworth, Ohio, was named for Revolutionary War hero General Elijah Wadsworth, who owned a large portion of land in the area. Today, Wadsworth offers the quaintness of a small town, coupled with the sophistication of a community that is progressive enough to offer its own municipal electric utility and high-speed internet and cable services. Located in Northeast Ohio, the city has easy access to Akron, Cleveland, Youngstown and Columbus.

Residents' activities revolve around the strong Wadsworth City Schools, which are rated “Excellent with Distinction” in the state, churches and numerous civic organizations, including a very active Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Wadsworth organization.

The city plays host to an abundance of small businesses as well as several industrial parks. The historic downtown is a vibrant part of the city and is the site of special events throughout the year, including the annual Blue Tip Match Festival Parade and Celebration, summer concerts, an herb and craft festival, and sidewalk sales. Wadsworth also provides more than 200 acres of park land for residents.

A leader in public power
Wadsworth has been very active in public power, with representation and leadership on the AMP Board of Trustees and the Ohio Municipal Electric Association Board of Directors. The city prides itself in providing efficient and user-friendly utility service.

The City of Wadsworth uses a smart meter system that was implemented with assistance from an economic stimulus grant. This system includes a smart grid, also known as an automated metering infrastructure, which includes endpoints, cell relays, collection engines and smart meters. As a customer-focused utility, Wadsworth Electric and Communications instituted a home energy management solution as part of the project. Customers have the ability to raise or lower the temperature from their home thermostat and can also easily find usage data. This can be all be done from the Internet or from a smart phone app. Wadsworth also offers a voluntary Peak Rewards program for electric customers that helps to reduce high-energy demand in the summer by creating “conservation periods” for central air conditioning units.

Wadsworth Electric and Communications has received numerous accolades, including a 2015 AMP Environmental Stewardship Award for its Community Wall at Akron Road Substation project. The wall was produced with 85 percent recycled materials and built to absorb sound from the substation and protect equipment. Wadsworth Electric and Communications also received a 2014 AMP Innovation Award for its digital feeder optimization volt/var project and a 2014 System Improvement Award for its substation/distribution automation project and is regularly recognized with awards for outstanding safety records.

As a member of AMP, Wadsworth 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 the following:

  • 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
  • Business/Economic Development, which, with AMP assistance, is designed to augment local economic development efforts
  • Direct Connections, which assists municipal electric systems in organizing and/or enhancing and implementing a locally controlled key account, business retention and expansion program
  • Efficiency Smart, a comprehensive energy-efficiency program administered for AMP by the Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
  • 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)
  • Meldahl/Greenup, which includes the run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating facility currently under construction at the Captain Anthony Meldahl Dam on the Ohio River and the existing generating facility at the Greenup Dam, also on the Ohio River
  • 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
  • Natural Gas Aggregation, with AMP providing services to allow a group of consumers to combine their utility usage to form a buying group through its wholly owned subsidiary, AMPO, Inc.
  • Northeast AMP Service Group (NEASG)
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA), providing hydroelectricity generated by the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers
  • OMEGA JV1, a joint venture of NEASG communities that owns nine megawatts (MW) of diesel generation installed at Cuyahoga Falls
  • OMEGA JV2, 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 JV5, a joint venture that operates a 42-MW hydroelectric plant on the Ohio River and has back-up generation sources located throughout Ohio
  • OMEGA JV6, a joint venture that operates a four-turbine wind farm near Bowling Green, Ohio, that generates 7.2 MW of power
  • 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

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