Hearings set for two massive Ohio solar projects

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The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will hold an in-person public hearing regarding two solar systems among the largest planned for the state’s near future: the Wheatsborough Solar project and the Sycamore Creek Solar project.

The Wheatsborough Solar project would be a 125 MW array, coupled with a 50 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in Groton Township, Erie County, between Cleveland and Toledo. Sycamore Creek would be a 117 MW standalone project in Cranberry Township, Crawford County, also between Cleveland and Toledo.

The Wheatsborough Solar project is being developed by Apex Clean Energy, while the Sycamore Creek project is being developed by National Grid Renewables.

The hearings, which are set to take place at 6 p.m., EST on July 7 at Margaretta High School for Wheatsborough and 6 p.m., EST on July 22 at Bucyrus Public Library, are intended to give unaffiliated individuals an opportunity to provide testimony regarding the proposed facility, before OPSB decides whether to approve the project or not.

The installations would be among the largest in Ohio and Wheatsborough’s paired battery would be the largest BESS known to pv magazine in the state. The projects would provide a significant boost to the state’s overall installed solar capacity, which currently sits at roughly 530 MW, the majority of which came online in 2020.

Image: Solar Energy Industries Association

Despite the relatively slow start, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predicts that Ohio will see significant solar expansion over the next five years, adding a forecasted 2,955 MW, good for 11th in the nation over that period.

Alongside the potential capacity brought by these two projects, the state will receive a major boost once the Hillcrest Solar facility is completed. Developed by Innergex Renewable Energy, the 200 MW installation will be the largest in the state once it is completed, and construction started last year.

Also noteworthy is the 107 MW Arche Energy Project, with that installation being sponsored by 7X Energy. Final project design for Arche are expected to be completed in the third quarter. Construction could begin in the fourth quarter and be completed within 12 months.

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