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Renewable Energy

Solar Farm Near Columbus, OH, To Create Hundreds of Jobs

Hundreds of construction jobs will come to central Ohio when ground breaks early next year on a 180-megawatt solar facility near Columbus.

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently authorized the Madison Fields Solar Project, which will be built on about 1,000 acres of land from a larger 1,932-acre plan area in Pike Township, Madison County. 

Construction is expected to create around 450 construction jobs, and draw “dozens more laborers from elsewhere around the state, with more than $39 million in payroll generated from construction.” Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2022 with a June 2023 completion date, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Savion Energy, a Kansas City-based utility-scale solar and energy storage project developer, is heading the plan. Savion has 26 operational solar sites across 10 states including ones in Texas, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. It has an additional 69 solar projects in development in 24 states.

State-filed documents indicate that the Madison Fields Solar facility would drive an estimated $48 million in local government revenues over the course of its 30-year operational life.

Ohio currently ranks 28th nationally for solar with around 361 MW of solar installed – enough to power over 42,700 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. More than 7,200 people are employed in the industry. 

SEIA projects that the state will install an additional 1,900 MW in the next five years which, if achieved, would put Ohio at 14th for solar installation.

The Ohio Power Siting Board broke down the project’s logistics in a news release on the authorization.

“The project will consist of large arrays of ground-mounted photovoltaic modules, commonly referred to as solar panels, mounted on a tracking system that will rotate to track the sun. The project will include associated facilities such as access roads, meteorological stations, electric collection lines, inverters and transformers, a substation, a 138 kV gen-tie line, a point of interconnection switchyard, and an operations and maintenance building.”

This is the second central Ohio solar array to be approved by the board in the span of a month, and one among two dozen other solar farms in development statewide, The Columbus Dispatch reports. 

The OPSB in December greenlighted another Savion-led solar endeavor – a 200 MW, 1,375-acre site slated for Deer Creek and Perry townships near the Pickaway County village of Williamsport.

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