The Clinton County Board of Commissioners in session today stated their objections to the plans of Invenergy to build large solar arrays in the southern part of Clinton County.
Yellow Wood Solar Project as proposed in Clark and Jefferson townships would consist of 740,000 solar panels, ground-mounted on a tracking rack system. The project would occupy approximately 2,460 acres within an approximate 4,400-acre project area and would include associated infrastructure including access roads, operations, and maintenance building, underground and overhead electric collection lines, weather stations, inverters, and transformers, a collection substation, and a 345-kV gen-tie electric transmission line. The project would be secured by 6’ tall perimeter fencing with a standard 300’ setback from fence line to residences.
Commissioner Brenda K. Woods stated, “Our neighbors in other counties have seen firsthand the lack of accountability once thousands of these panels and related infrastructure are installed. There are issues with disruptive and continual noise during construction, ongoing drainage and erosion that affect neighboring properties, and a reduction in neighboring property values. I remain concerned about the lack of oversight, maintenance, and upkeep over a long, 30+-year installation as well as end-of-life removal and disposal of the equipment. Agreement has not been reached on essential terms for Clinton County, including substantial increases in all setbacks and authority to approve or deny stormwater mitigation plans. This agreement does not protect the county and its citizens who are directly affected. We do not want this for our Clinton County residents.”
Commissioner Kerry R. Steed added, “I am on the record as being 100% opposed to these types of industrial-scale solar projects. I find it unacceptable that this industrial-scale solar project takes thousands of acres of the most productive farmland in the state out of use and negatively affects the ag economy in Clinton County.”
Commissioner Mike McCarty stated, “from the beginning, I’ve been concerned about the lack of accountability. Based upon their own statements, the Ohio Power Siting Board does not proactively monitor or enforce compliance once the sites are built. When you look at projects in other counties, which I have, you can see firsthand the results of this lack of accountability. The project sites are poorly maintained and for a project that will require a commitment to ongoing maintenance for 30 or more years, that is a significant concern.”
The Commissioners also discussed their opposition to an anticipated request by Invenergy to receive a tax abatement, which would effectively reduce the anticipated full value of taxes on their project to all taxing authorities over a 30-year period.