County Commissioners in Lorain County and Madison County, and Trustees in Green Township are considering local measures to restrict utility scale solar in their communities.
A vote by County Commissioners or Township Trustees to ban solar development could put a blanket prohibition on projects that bring both jobs and much-needed tax revenue to the area. Offering the opportunity for local solar development is a critical part of an “all of the above” energy strategy in Ohio communities.
What is the current state of solar in Ohio?
Currently, ten Ohio counties have banned renewable energy development with more counties scheduling public hearings on proposed bans. But Ohio can be a hot bed for solar investment. There are currently over 10,000MW of large-scale solar projects either constructed, permitted, or pending before the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). These projects represent tens of thousands of construction jobs and billions of dollars in local tax revenue and other economic impacts for Ohio. The first Ohio utility scale solar project went to construction in early 2020 with two projects now fully operational, and a steady pace of projects that continue to come online.
For solar to succeed in Ohio, it is critical that solar project developers and advocates find new ways to engage communities at the front end of project development. There are significant amounts of pending Ohio solar projects currently at risk due to organized local opposition, political considerations at the local and state levels, and concerns with the lack of merit-based decision-making from the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB).
Why is it possible to ban solar?
In 2021, the Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 52. In short, the law requires a new upfront approval from County Commissions prior to a developer moving forward with the state siting process for certification of utility-scale solar projects. This legislation allows County Commissioners to establish restricted areas where new solar projects are prohibited or require their approval on new project sites as voting members of the Ohio Power Siting Board.
Each of these potential solar bans will be discussed at upcoming public hearings. We need as many people who live in these counties to show up to speak their minds, and show support for local solar development. If you cannot attend the public hearing, email your County Commissioners to support local solar development.
Mahoning County on Monday, September 18 at 11:00 AM at 21 W Boardman St Youngstown, OH 44503
Email your Commissioners
- Urge them not to restrict solar development in Lorain County.
- Tell them why you support solar as part of Lorain County's energy strategy.
- Dr. Tony Xenikis: [email protected]
- Chris Wallace: [email protected]
- Mark Forrest: [email protected]