COLUMBUS — Kingwood Solar filed an application with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on April 16. The application starts the process of obtaining approval from the OPSB that would bring a 1,500-acre solar energy production facility to the area.
The Kingwood Solar project is a proposed solar-powered electric generating facility, owned by Texas-based company Vesper Energy. The proposed farm would be placed on 1,500 acres between Yellow Springs and Cedarville, most of which is currently in agricultural use. The 175-megawatt facility is expected to generate approximately 360,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year.
The certificate application includes several hundred pages of documents including plans, surveys, and studies pertaining to the development work that Vesper has conducted on this project, the company said. The entire approval process can take up to 18 months, and the application is currently pending before the OPSB.
“This is a significant step for Kingwood Solar, and will be the start of a long, transparent, and collaborative process that follows on the many months of community outreach and education,” Vesper Energy said in a news release.
Vesper is partnering with First Energy to operate the facility and provide supporting infrastructure.
Its proposition has generated consternation among nearby residents, who say that the project would damage surrounding agricultural operations, property values, and risk surrounding natural spaces and wildlife. Residents also allege that the energy generated by the facility will not benefit the local community.
The Greene County commissioners have stated in previous interviews that they plan on intervening in the approval process, though the OPSB has the final authority on the matter. They recently held a town hall meeting at the fairgrounds and an overwhelming majority of those who spoke were against the project.
The application can be viewed at https://opsb.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/opsb/cases. The case number is 21-0117-EL-BGN