Painesville sued over stalled battery project

Date: Jun 8, 2018

Metro Creative Connection

Virginia-based Ashlawn Energy LLC is suing the city of Painesville over allegedly abandoned efforts to build an energy storing battery facility in the city.

In the suit filed in the United States District Court Northern District of Ohio, the company claims city leaders reneged on promises made to Ashlawn.

“As a result, millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds were squandered, hundreds of thousands of Painesville taxpayer dollars were wasted, city residents were robbed of a crown jewel progressive energy project and Ashlawn Energy’s business was effectively crippled.”

In 2010, the city and Ashlawn were awarded federal grant money to demonstrate the company’s energy storage technology, the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery at the city’s 32 megawatt coal-fired power plant.

The federal stimulus funds were part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Demonstration Program. The program was designed to provide financial support in grants up to one-half the total project cost. The program included approximately $600 million to 32 projects across the country.

Ashlawn claims in the lawsuit that the project was a “major coup” for both the company and the city.

For Painesville, the battery project offered “an environmentally friendly and economically sound way to alleviate the growing pressure on the city’s aging coal power plant, and an opportunity to establish the city as a manufacturing hub for energy storage batteries.”

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