Turning Point Solar to turn Ohio into a Clean Energy Leader
(Columbus, OH)—Hundreds of acres of old coal mine land—a fitting symbol of last century energy technology—soon will be the home of one of the nation’s largest solar energy fields.
“This is a big green beacon of the new clean energy economic revolution that is starting to sweep Ohio,” said Trent Dougherty, Staff Attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council.
“Move over, King Coal. There’s a new competitor on the block. And that competitor is clean, green, affordable energy. No toxic lakes of coal waste. No asthma or ozone alerts. Just clean, affordable, ever replenishing power. The promise of Ohio’s Renewable Energy Standard (Ohio Senate Bill 221, passed in 2008) is starting to come true in a big way—starting with 600 new jobs.”
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today announced agreements to create Turning Point Solar, a 49.9 megawatt array of sola panels to be built on former strip-mine land located next to The Wilds nature preserve. At signing ceremonies in the governor’s cabinet room today, American Electric Power (AEP) CEO Michael G. Morris signed a memorandum of understanding with project developers New Harvest Ventures and Agile Energy to enter into a 20-year purchase agreement for power produced at the facility.
The solar farm is projected to bring up to 600 jobs. Two Spanish manufacturers, Prius Energy S.L. and Isofoton, plan to manufacture nearly 240,000 solar panels needed to outfit the solar field, committed to house their North American operations in Ohio.
“Ohio workers, producing made-in-Ohio solar cells for Ohio-generated clean energy, for an Ohio utility company, to deliver renewable power to Ohioans. Today is a great day for the future of clean energy and a great day for the future of Ohio.
“While other utilities are looking for waivers from the mandates of Ohio’s RPS, AEP has stepped up to the plate and committed to providing Ohioans with solar energy from southeast Ohio for the next 20 years. Thank you, AEP, for being a true clean energy partner,” said Dougherty.