Innergex is the long-term owner of the 200 MWAC Hillcrest solar project which would be located in Brown County, Ohio. The proposed project would bring clean and sustainable power to tens of thousands of Ohio homes.
The Hillcrest project is one of the first utility-scale solar projects to complete the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) permitting process successfully and was awarded the necessary certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to Construct an Electric Generation Facility (Case No. 17-1152-EL-BGN). Additionally, an interconnection service agreement is in place with PJM to interconnect the project to the Duke Energy-owned Hillcrest substation.
The project would consist of a solar field with arrays of photovoltaic panels. It would be located just north of Mount Orab, which is ideal for a utility-scale solar farm because it is adjacent to a point in the regional transmission system at which power can be supplied without the need for substantial and costly upgrades to that system. It is also close to Cincinnati and its large pool of labor force and a major hub for easy shipping of replacement parts. It will enable large amounts of solar power to be generated as the location is generally level and open.
About Solar Energy Systems
The sun is a highly stable and predictable resource, which makes solar technology correspondingly reliable and easy to use. The sun’s energy is converted directly into electricity via a photovoltaic solar panel, named after the “photovoltaic” phenomenon, where light energy, in the form of photons, can be converted to electricity using certain materials that naturally generate a flow of electrons when exposed to light. As this process requires no fuel, it creates no emissions during operations. As a result, solar energy is one of the cleanest, most reliable forms of energy around.
The effectiveness of a solar energy system depends on a number of factors: the number of hours of sunshine, the season, weather conditions, albedo (the reflecting power of the surrounding surface), etc. Solar panels are always tilted and oriented to capture the maximum amount of light.
At the end of its operational life, the equipment will be recycled and the land the project occupies would be returned to its original state.
Community and Potential Benefits
Innergex’s philosophy has always been to develop and operate reliable, high-quality projects while respecting the environment and balancing the best interests of communities and partners. Thus, when developing a solar project, Innergex believes in generating local benefits that go beyond direct economic benefits such as creating new jobs.
Construction and operation phases will create benefits in terms of new employment opportunities as well as the use of local resources. Preference will be given to retaining local persons, consultants, businesses and contractors throughout the development of the project.
Innergex believes that communities must benefit from a renewable energy project in their area and as such we have a long history of sponsoring and supporting local associations, legacy projects and community events in the communities where we operate. Hillcrest has concluded Education Cooperation and Financial Funding Agreements with Southern State Community College, which will enable site visits for students in technical programs and will create an education fund seeded with $60,000 at commercial operation date and $7,000 per annum thereafter.
Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB)
The mission of the Ohio Power Siting Board is to support sound energy policies that allow for the installation of new energy generation and transmission infrastructure which provide long-term benefits to Ohio citizens, promote the state’s economic interests, and protect the environment.
Learn more about the Ohio Power Siting Board, the application process, and steps involved: Ohio Power Siting Board
Landing page for Case No. 17-1152-EL-BGN with access to the application materials, schedule, and docket: Hillcrest Solar Application Page
Hillcrest Solar I, LLC has filed a Construction Notice regarding the Transmission Line Project with the Ohio Power Siting Board (Case No. 20-0614-EL-BNR), read it here.