Utility-Scale Solar Array Proposed in Greene County, Ohio

Lendlease Energy Development LLC (a subsidiary of Australian-based Lendlease Corporation Limited) has proposed construction of a utility-scale solar array (USSA) to be located in rural Xenia, Cedarville, and Miami Townships, Greene County, Ohio.  In 2017, Lendlease began the process of quietly leasing 1000-2000 acres of productive farmland in northeastern Greene County, Ohio.  Lease terms for the proposed “Kingwood Solar Farm” exceed 40 years and offer lucrative annual payments to landowners who agree to the construction of a USSA on their land.

Complex Considerations

CGA recognizes the need to encourage and develop renewable energy sources at local, regional, and national levels. We acknowledge that the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) is the statewide authority that considers projects of this size and decides which projects will be developed and where those projects will be located. As rural neighbors and citizens, we are interested in educating ourselves and others about possible environmental, economic, and cultural implications of utility-scale solar installations. What are the “best practices” associated with USSA projects such as the one proposed for our neighborhood? How and in what ways do individual rights intersect with rights of the greater community? Should large solar projects be sited in locations other than green space?

CGA intends to participate in the OPSB review process and to have our voices heard as the Board considers the Kingwood energy project in the coming months/years. We desire to raise questions, to provide input about short-term and long-term concerns, and to empower local residents to do the same.  We also hope to serve as a grass-roots role model for residents in other regions in Ohio who will be considering the possible ramifications of industrial and utility-scale energy projects in their front and back yards.

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