The public will be able to comment pro or con concerning the proposed New Market Solar I and II projects Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. via conference call or video link.
Hecate Energy proposes to develop, build and operate the 100-megawatt (MW) solar powered electric power generation facility in southeastern Highland County on over 1,000 acres of land in Clay and Whiteoak townships.
The company said that Tuesday’s hearing will allow the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to hear written or oral testimony concerning the solar panel farm, and that any testimony would be limited to five minutes.
Although interested persons who wanted to provide testimony had until last Friday to preregister with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, those that want to attend Tuesday’s public hearing remotely and not offer testimony can do so by calling +1-408-418-9388 and entering access code 173 492 7444.
The local public hearing will also be live streamed for viewing at www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.
An evidentiary hearing is scheduled to be held virtually on Monday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. via Webex.
If individuals want to supply additional testimony from the public hearing, they must do so by Friday, Jan. 22 by emailing contactOPSB@puco.ohio.gov an exhibit for the OPSB’s consideration, a copy of the document, and making reference to Case No. 20-1288-EL-BGN.
Materials can also be mailed to OPSB, 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215.
As previously reported in The Times-Gazette, Hecate Energy said the new solar project would generate clean, renewable electricity and deliver that electrical power to the regional grid through Dayton Power & Light’s Clay substation.
New Market Solar I & II are designed to minimize impacts to the environment and natural resources, as well as the viewshed of adjacent property owners, the company said, reflecting similar comments the company made nearly two years ago when a hearing was held at Whiteoak High School regarding the Highland Solar Farm.
“This 100-megawatt project, the New Market Solar Farm, bifurcated by 35 megawatts and 65 megawatts, respectively, is separate and apart from the Highland Solar Farm project,” according Jared Wren, development associate for Hecate. “They are separate projects, not an expansion or extension.”
The Hecate Highland Solar Farm he mentioned is planned to be a 300 MW solar farm on nearly 3,500 acres of land between Buford and north of Mowrystown.
The company is requesting that if the certificate is issued, it be in the words of Wren, “bifurcated” or divided into two branches or parts.
New Market Solar I would be a 65 MW facility occupying 582 acres, and would extend from Gath Road northeast on New Market Road, to just short of Landess Road, before following Hollowtown Road to the southeast and then terminating on Edwards Road between Gath and Fender roads.
The 222-acre footprint of New Market Solar II, with a projected output of 35-MW, will be on the southern side of Edwards Road, extending westward from the Fender/Edwards roads intersection to Stringtown Road.
Public comments can be provided in writing on the OPSB’s website at https://opsb.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/opsb/help-center/contact-us, by email at contact OPSB@puco.ohio.gov, or by mail to OPSB, 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215.
Hecate Energy said it hopes that construction on New Market Solar I & II could commence in the first quarter of this year, with completion and the start of commercial operations beginning sometime in the fourth quarter.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.