COLUMBUS, OHIO (June 24, 2021) – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) today approved applications filed by Alamo Solar I LLC and Angelina Solar I LLC to construct solar-powered electric generating facilities in Preble County. Today the OPSB approved an application filed by Firelands Wind, LLC to construct a wind-powered electric generating facility in Erie and Huron counties. Separately, the OPSB denied an application filed by Republic Wind LLC to construct a wind-powered electric generating facility in Seneca and Sandusky counties.
Angelina Solar / Alamo Solar
The 80-megawatt (MW) Angelina Solar Project will occupy up to 827 acres within a 934-acre project area in Israel and Dixon townships, Preble County. The 69.9 MW Alamo Solar Project will occupy up to 919 acres within a 1,002.5-acre project in Gasper and Washington townships, Preble County. Once constructed, both solar energy projects will consist of large arrays of solar panels, as well as associated facilities including access roads, weather stations, buried electrical collection lines, inverters, and project substations.
Today the Board denied the application filed by Republic Wind, LLC to construct a proposed 200 MW wind farm in Adams, Pleasant, Reed, Scipio, and Thompson townships in Seneca County and York Township in Sandusky County.
In its order, the Board found the proposal would not serve the “public interest, convenience and necessity,” nor demonstrate it could minimize its environmental impact as required by Ohio law.
“It is very important that we at the Power Siting Board take input from local residents and governments seriously,” stated OPSB Chair Jenifer French. “The facts in this case, including substantial local government opposition, lead me to believe that, overall, this project is not in the public interest.”
The proposed project would be constructed over unique karst geologic terrain. Karst can often result in sinkholes, caves, and underground streams replenished by rainwater that wear away the rock and eventually returns to the surface. Most residents in the project area rely on private wells for drinking water, and the evidence suggests that disruptions to karst formations has the potential to quickly, and detrimentally, effect those wells. These, along with other factors, led a majority of local government officials representing area townships, counties, and park districts to oppose the project. In doing so, the Board noted planned construction mitigation measures on karst may lead to adverse impacts on local groundwater. Ultimately, the OPSB agreed, finding insufficient evidence to determine that the project could be built without harming the environment and properly serving the public interest.
Emerson Creek Wind
Today the Board modified and approved a settlement agreement to allow Firelands Wind, LLC to construct the up-to 297 MW Emerson Creek wind farm in Groton and Oxford townships in Erie County, and Lyme, Norwich, Richmond, Ridgefield, and Sherman townships in Huron County.
Specifically, the Board modified the agreement to remove eight wind turbines planned to be located on known or suspected karst formations. In doing so, the Board noted planned construction mitigation measures on karst may lead to adverse impacts on local groundwater.
The agreement modified and approved by the Board will be subject to the developer’s adherence to 44 conditions designed to mitigate its impact during construction and operation. Conditions include, among other things, measures to limit the impact to bird and bat populations and include ongoing post-construction wildlife monitoring.
A settlement agreement was filed on Sept. 11, 2020 signed by Firelands, OPSB technical staff, the city of Willard, Huron County, Norwich Township, Richmond Township, and two participating landowners.
In other business, the OPSB granted in part and denied in part a request for rehearing filed by Hecate Energy Highland 4, LLC regarding its New Market Solar I and II projects located in Highland County.
Additional information about today’s OPSB decisions is available at www.OPSB.ohio.gov. Copies of today’s opinions, orders and certificates will be available in case numbers 18-1578-EL-BGN (Alamo Solar I), 18-1579-EL-BGN (Angelina Solar I), 17-2295-EL-BGN (Republic Wind), 18-1607-EL-BGN (Emerson Creek) and 20-1288-EL-BGN (Hecate Energy Highland 4). A recorded webcast of today’s OPSB meeting is available on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.