miércoles, mayo 31, 2023

Ohio prepares for largest solar PV facility in the U.S.

Expect Ohio to ramp up its renewable energy production in the near future as three companies forge an agreement for a 50-megawatt solar photovoltaic project on a reclaimed strip mine in Muskingum County.

Emerging developers New Harvest Ventures and Agile Energy have finalized a power purchase deal with the utility American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) for the future output of the Turning Point Solar project. The investor-owned utility will procure all of the solar facility’s output for 20 years, including its renewable energy credits.

The 49.9-MW solar array will be built on strip-mined land adjacent to the nature conservancy The Wilds. Turning Point Solar will use a tract of at least 500 acres of reclaimed land that was mined by the Central Ohio Coal Company between 1969 and 1991.

The Wilds, which opened in 1994, was created from 10,000 acres of land stripped and reclaimed by Big Muskie.

The project will harness solar rays through an array of 239,400 high-efficiency PV panels. These panels will be driven by solar tracking equipment that follows the sun’s movement.

If it were already operating today, the facility would be the largest PV array in the United States and one of the largest in the world.

American Electric said the construction and commercial operation of the facility will be undertaken over three years.

During the first year an initial 20 MW of capacity will be installed and begin operations by late 2012. An additional 15 MW by the end of 2013 will be added, while the remaining 15 MW will be brought online by the end of 2014.

Pending approval of incentives to be provided by state and local governments, Spanish solar power component manufacturers Prius Energy S.L. and Isofoton have agreed to open new manufacturing facilities in Ohio to help build the project.

American Electric estimates that a total of 300 “green collar” jobs will be created during the peak construction period, while an additional 300 permanent jobs will be opened at the new manufacturing facilities.

Into the future

“We recognized the future when we established our state’s aggressive renewable portfolio standard, invested in the energy industry and eliminated taxes for new energy facilities to create jobs and grow Ohio’s advanced energy industry,” said Ted Strickland, governor of Ohio.

Through Senate Bill 221, Ohio requires utilities to supply 0.06 percent of its load from solar resources by 2012. This benchmark progressively escalates annually to 0.09 in 2013 and 0.12 percent in 2014, until a total of 0.5 percent is reached by 2024.

The 25-megawatt DeSoto next generation solar energy center in Arcadia, Florida, which started construction in February 2009, is currently the largest solar PV plant in the United States. DeSoto, owned by Florida Power & Light Company, stripped Nevada’s 14-MW Nellis Solar Power Plant of its previous title.

Meanwhile, the Sarnia photovoltaic power plant in Canada is the largest solar PV facility in the world, with 80 MW of capacity. Other ranking solar PV facilities are the 55-MW Olmedilla photovoltaic park in Spain and the 53- MW Lieberose photovoltaic park in Germany.





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