300 MW solar plant planned outside Columbus, Ohio

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After years of market dormancy, Ohio has spent the summer and early fall making major moves in solar development. In July, it was discovered that the state had plans for over 450 MW of projects in the works, which would almost triple its installed capacity to that point. Now Chicago-based developer Hecate Energy is planning a 300 MW project in Mowrystown, just southwest of Columbus.

If approved, this would be a massive addition to the state’s solar portfolio, which is modest, to say the least. The project is the largest existing or planned in Ohio known to pv magazine, as well as dwarfing all of Hecate’s other projects to date. Previously Hecate’s largest project was the 100 MW UDOM Solar farm in Tazania, while the company’s largest U.S. project was the 60 MW Columbia County solar project in Craryville, New York.

For some scope as to the size of this project, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports Ohio as a state as having just over 182 MW total installed solar, placing it 28th in the nation for capacity. And while this summer saw over 450 MW of proposed large-scale solar projects in the Buckeye State, this project alone would represent a 66% increase on that already unprecedented boom.

This project is still in its infancy; honestly this is its conception. Hecate has not yet submitted an application for the project to the Ohio Power Siting Board, though the company plans to do so in October. From there, the board has until July of 2019 to review and either accept or reject the application.

If the project is approved, Hecate plans to begin construction during the First Quarter of 2020 and have the project in service by the Second Quarter of 2021. Due to the very early stage of this project, there is no buyer in place for the power at this time.