Highland Co. solar project area reduced

Was moved to limit impact on locals

By Jacob Clary - [email protected]dwest.com

HILLSBORO — Innergex Renewable Energy representatives that are working on the Palomino Solar Project attended the Wednesday morning meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

Bill Behling, Innergex director of development, said that the project was reduced by about 200 acres and moved from the northern part of the project to the the southern part.

He said the project area north of Panhandle Road and west of Mad River Road was also removed. Behling said about 400 acres were added to the southern part of the project area and 600 acres were removed from the northern project area.

He said the northern project area is more densely populated and the project was able to move panels away from more heavily populated areas.

He said that construction is now scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2023 and the commercial operation date is planned to begin in the second quarter of 2024.

Behling said the solar project is a 200 megawatt (MW) on a single-axis tracking system. He said it will be in Dodson and Union townships and will use about 1,410 acres of the 2,700-acre total project area. He said the project will connect into the existing AEP Hillsboro-Middleboro transmission line that is adjacent to the site.

Janet Grothe, Innergex manager of community and government relations, said the company wants to hire locally and that it agreed to an 80-percent local labor requirement. She said the project will have about 300 to 500 people employed at the peak construction time.

She also said they wanted to have a facility with no noise to disrupt the neighbor. Grothe said she understands there would be “a little bit of activity” during the construction, but that after it’s finished the company anticipates it will operate in silence.

Was moved to limit impact on locals

By Jacob Clary

[email protected]