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State, industry leaders break ground on historic solar project in SW Ohio

State, industry leaders break ground on historic solar project in SW Ohio
State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) joined Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and other state and energy industry leaders Thursday in breaking ground for what will be the largest solar project in Ohio history.
The groundbreaking kicked off construction on the 200 MW Hillcrest Solar facility which, when completed, will power approximately 39,000 homes. It is Ohio’s first utility-scale solar project.

“When we generate energy here in Ohio, we support Ohio jobs and Ohio communities,” Representative Wilkin said. “As a sponsor of House Bill 6, I am proud to see Hillcrest Solar break ground today as a first step toward generating more energy right here at home.”

Hillcrest Solar is one of six solar projects eligible for state financial assistance through House Bill 6, which was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in July 2019.

“We continue to make good on the promises we made to Ohio’s future when we passed House Bill 6 with more energy generation produced in-state and by reducing customers’ bills,” Householder said. “We’re building more generation here in Ohio while saving our ratepayers at least $1.3 billion.”

House Bill 6 will save Ohio’s electric ratepayers at least $1.3 billion by removing expensive, failed electric mandates currently on customers’ bills. The plan also supports Ohio jobs and expands renewable energy generation in Ohio.

Beginning the groundbreaking with keynote remarks, Householder discussed the facility’s potential to power thousands of homes across the state, as well as job creation and employment opportunities a facility like Hillcrest provides to rural communities.

It is projected that Hillcrest Solar will bolster local economies with an influx of property tax dollars to local counties, allowing communities to improve and maintain their schools and roads and other infrastructure.

“Ohio will be a leader for solar energy generation. This project alone provides more solar generation than we’ve ever done in the state of Ohio combined,” said Householder in his remarks.

Innergex Renewable Energy owns and operates the Hillcrest Solar facility and will oversee its construction. The Hillcrest facility will cover approximately 1,350 acres of land near the Brown County community of Mt. Orab, 43 miles east of Cincinnati.

State Representative Shane Wilkin is serving his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives after being appointed during the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 91st Ohio House District, serving residents of Clinton, Highland and Pike counties, as well as residents in a portion of Ross County.

Source:  Highland County PressThe Highland County Press

By:  Office of State Rep. Shane Wilkin, Press Release

LINK:  https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/In-The-News/In-The-News/Article/State-industry-leaders-break-ground-on-historic-solar-project/2/20/5603

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Cardno provided several environmental services and prepared a key ecological assessment report for a major solar project under construction in Ohio.

 

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Massive solar project starts in Southwest Ohio

By
 – Senior Staff Reporter, Cincinnati Business Courier

Construction has started on a massive solar photovoltaic project in Brown County, about 40 miles east of downtown Cincinnati.

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. held a groundbreaking for a 200 megawatt Hillcrest solar facility in Green Township, just north of Mount Orab. The Hillcrest facility is being built on about 1,350 acres of land and is one of the largest projects of its kind in the state.

David Little, head of Innergex USA, said the company has a track record of developing and operating “environmentally responsible, and socially acceptable renewable energy projects” across the globe.

“At Innergex, our priorities are the three Ps: people, planet and prosperity,” Little said in a news release. “Therefore, it’s important for us to be a good neighbor.”

The Hillcrest facility is being built on land owned by 25 local residents. The landowners will receive compensation for the use of their land over the next 35 years.

The project is expected to create about 300 construction jobs in the next 10 months and should contribute about $69 million to the local economy in wages. Innergex is seeking skilled workers, including electricians and welders, to fill immediate openings.

Property taxes generated by the project are projected to contribute more than $60 million to Brown County, Western Brown School District and Green Township during the project’s lifespan.

The site in Brown County was selected because it has plenty of annual sunny days and is adjacent to a strategic point of interconnection in the regional electrical transmission system owned by Duke Energy. The project will have arrays of more than 600,000 photovoltaic solar panels arranged in rows. It is estimated the Hillcrest facility will generate more than 416,000 megawatts per year. That’s enough to power the equivalent of 39,000 households in Ohio annually with renewable energy.

LINK:  read:https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2020/03/12/massive-solar-project-starts-in-southwest-ohio.html

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LINK:  https://www.innergex.com/the-hillcrest-solar-project/#project

The Hillcrest Solar Project
The Project
About Solar Energy Systems
Community and Potential Benefits
Ohio Power Siting Board
Hillcrest Application
Contact
The Project
Innergex is the long-term owner of the 200 MWAC Hillcrest solar project which would be located in Brown County, Ohio. The proposed project would bring clean and sustainable power to tens of thousands of Ohio homes.
The Hillcrest project is one of the first utility-scale solar projects to complete the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) permitting process successfully and was awarded the necessary certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to Construct an Electric Generation Facility (Case No. 17-1152-EL-BGN). Additionally, an interconnection service agreement is in place with PJM to interconnect the project to the Duke Energy-owned Hillcrest substation.
The project would consist of a solar field with arrays of photovoltaic panels. It would be located just north of Mount Orab, which is ideal for a utility-scale solar farm because it is adjacent to a point in the regional transmission system at which power can be supplied without the need for substantial and costly upgrades to that system. It will enable large amounts of solar power to be generated as the location is generally level and open.

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