AEP / Renewable Energy / Solar Energy

Fate of AEP Ohio solar project hinges on question of need

Photo by Kathiann Kowalski / Midwest Energy News

Ohio regulators will rule on the need for the largest-yet solar energy project proposed in the state

COLUMBUS — “Ohio regulators began hearing evidence this week to decide the fate of American Electric Power’s proposal for 400 megawatts of solar energy in Appalachian Ohio. If approved, the combined project in Highland County would be the largest solar energy installation so far in the state.

The first phase of the evidentiary hearing process that began Jan. 15 hinges on one big question: Is there a need for the project based on projections from AEP’s Ohio utility?

“Our proposal makes it clear that our state needs renewable generation resources to make Ohio even more attractive to companies looking to come here, address customer demand for renewable energy, and foster the development of a clean energy economy in Ohio,” said AEP Ohio spokesperson Scott Blake. “Renewable energy projects help develop a skilled workforce that can offer hope to workers and transform a region for generations.”

Supporters include groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Appalachian Ohio Solar Jobs Network, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and others.

Opposing the project are the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, the Ohio Coal Association, the Ohio Manufacturers Association Energy Group, and other large electricity customer groups and competitors.”

— Kathiann Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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