Over the past 7 years, solar energy in Ohio has been taking small steps by developing small solar farms. In 2010, the 12-megawatt PSEG Wyandot Solar Farm in Wyandot County was the largest solar installation operating in Ohio. In 2016, Wyandot was eclipsed by Bowling Green’s 20 MW to become the state’s largest.
This year, however, Ohio solar is taking a major leap with three new solar farms that will total 400 MW of generating capacity. Blue Planet Renewable Energy announced plans to build a 125 MW solar farm in Brown County. Chicago-based Invenergy announced plans for a 150 MW solar farm in Hardin county and a 125 MW installation in Vinton county. Plans have been submitted for approval by state regulators.
The three projects reportedly could create more than 1,000 construction jobs and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes revenue for the counties. Because solar uses no fuel, solar farms can help reduce price spikes that come from volatile fossil fuel prices. Stable prices makes it easier for customers to find the best Ohio electricity rates.
Invenergy has experience developing wind turbine installations such as the 175 MW Hardin wind farm which will be bought by AEP’s subsidiary, Appalachian Power. Due to the state restrictive wind turbine setback rules, Invenergy is venturing into Ohio solar. The Hardin solar farm is sited adjacent to the wind farm.