A Chicago company is developing a proposed 300-megawatt solar power generation facility in southern Clinton County, targeted to start operating in 2023.

Clinton County commissioners recently heard an overview of the project from Josh Hreha, renewable development manager for Invenergy.

Hreha told commissioners the company is not really looking to sign up more land to host solar panels. The land already leased for the project is about 3,000 acres, with a smaller amount actually going toward hosting the panels, stated Ben Lambrecht, communications associate with Invenergy.

The land in question is in Jefferson and Clark Townships.

Invenergy has successfully developed 150 projects, including wind, solar, natural gas power generation and advanced energy storage projects, according to information from the company.

Invenergy develops solar projects where there’s a strong solar resource, the ability to deliver electricity to the grid, and supportive landowners who want to participate in the project, said Lambrecht. All those exist in Clinton County, he added.

The project, named the Yellow Wood Solar Energy Center, will produce enough clean, sustainable electricity to power the equivalent of 55,000 homes, Lambrecht said.

The financial impact in Clinton County is estimated at $4.5 million annually through new tax revenues and through payments to landowners over the life of the project, according to the company.

Conversations are ongoing as to who will buy the energy from the facility, stated Lambrecht.

What is known at this point is that the project will deliver power directly onto the electricity grid in Clinton County, and will be available for purchase by any buyers in the wholesale market, he said.

Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Taylor Stuckert attended the commissioners session. He said from a planning perspective, a project this size is considered a utility-scale project.

At the time of the commissioners meeting, Hreha said he was working to wrap up the early land due-diligence efforts at the project site, and beginning to work through state- and federal-level permitting regimens.

Lambrecht said it is too early in the process to say whether Invenergy will own the Yellow Wood Solar Energy Center, but added that Invenergy often develops, constructs and operates sustainable energy projects across the country.

Lambrecht also said Invenergy is one of the largest and most experienced owners and operators of sustainable energy projects in the United States.

And regardless of who the owner is, the facility will be required to operate in accord with all of the same rules and regulations, he said.

“Invenergy takes our commitment to community seriously, and consequently, we are often invited back to do more work in communities where we develop. Our Hardin Solar series of projects in Hardin County, Ohio is a good example of where Invenergy has worked in the community for several years to develop three separate projects.

“We look forward to building on our track record in Ohio with the Yellow Wood Solar Energy Center,” stated Lambrecht.

Hardin County is in the northwest quadrant of Ohio.

Commercial operations of Yellow Wood Solar Energy Center is anticipated for fourth quarter 2023.

The company estimates 800 construction jobs during peak construction. Once operational, up to four full-time operations and maintenance jobs will be created, the company stated.

According to Invenergy’s information material about the project, the solar-generating facility will reduce emissions equivalent to taking 65,230 cars off the road.

A virtual public information meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17. You can view the presentation online at the following link: www.InvenergyPublicMeetings.com . For phone access into the meeting, dial toll free 877-229-8493 and enter the access ID code: 119732#

The virtual meeting will include a live web/phone question-and-answer segment on the project.

To learn more about the company, visit invenergy.com .

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Operations slated for 2023

By Gary Huffenberger

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