Regulators sign off on multiple solar farm projects in Central Ohio

Ohio state regulators approved the construction of two large solar farms slated to be built in Central Ohio. 

On Oct. 20, the Ohio Power Siting Board, the agency that oversees applications for construction of major utility facilities in the state, signed off on Pleasant Prairie Solar Energy near Galloway and Harvey Solar I in Hartford and Bennington townships. Combined, the two projects could create about 600 megawatts of power.

The board also gave the green light to another solar project – the state’s first rechargeable battery energy storage project that will be built near New Albany in Jersey Township.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, both solar farms will produce enough electricity to power over 107,000 homes, which is roughly the number of homes in Toledo. 

“This figure does not include previously approved projects, and projects that already have been constructed,” said Jenifer French, OPSB Chair. “Ohio is a state that understands the importance of a mix of electric generation sources and today’s action by the board simply further illustrates that goal.”

Work on Pleasant Prairie will start in late 2023 and is expected to be completed in 2025. The project will cover 2,400 acres in Franklin County, and will generate approximately 250 MW.

Sitting on 1,880 acres, the Harvey Solar construction project will begin in 2024 and is slated to wrap up by 2026. This solar project will produce about 350 MW.

The Dispatch reported both projects are part of a surge in solar farm constrcution in Ohio, as there are more than 50 solar farms completed or in some stage of development in the state.

The other project approved by the OPSB is construction of a 200 MW battery storage facility. It will be built on a 15 acre site, located 200 feet from an existing American Electric Power substation. Work on the Flint Grid will commence in 2023 and is projected to be finished in 2024.

The first of its kind in Ohio, this station will remove electricity from the grid, store it in batteries when there is less demand and return it back to the grid when the demand is high.

“Battery energy storage facilities are an important tool in grid reliability,” siad French. “They have the ability to dispatch energy within seconds and as more renewable energy sources come online, battery energy storage will also be an important tool to maintaining reliability of those particular energy resources.”

All three project will be built by hundreds members of the IBEW. Members of IBEW Local 683 will man both Pleasant Prairie and Harvey Solar. Flint Grid will also be built by affiliated members of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, including IBEW Local 1105 members.

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