CIRCLEVILLE — Two members of a renewable energy company spoke to the Pickaway County Commissioners this week about a proposed solar farm in Pickaway County.
Ryan Scribner, executive director for Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3), the economic development entity for Pickaway County, said it was a good time for Alex Baker, development manager for Savion, a renewable energy company that is behind the proposed project to come and update the commissioners on the project.
“They’ve had some changes with the name of the company and who they’re working with and so I thought they could come and provide as much information as possible here in open session and then they will be able to provide more detail in executive session in regards to structures, revenue streams that are still subject to negotiation,” Scribner said.
Baker said the proposed solar farm would produce about 200 megawatts of power and occupy approximately 1,800 acres of property, which is near Atlanta and will be called The Atlanta Project. He said 100 megawatts of electricity powers about 25,000 homes for one year.
“We can’t say too much about the landowners of the project because many of it remains private for the time being until we get further along in the permitting process and working through some more of the development process items that ensure the project gets built,” he said.
Baker said they plan to have community meetings once they’re further down the road on the project.
“For now we’ve been asking our landowners to keep it confidential,” he said.
Baker was asked by the commissioners about what the project means for the average resident and if any impact would be seen in their electric bills or otherwise
“We get priced at the lowest source of power compared to all other sources of generation because we don’t have a fuel cost,” Baker said. “While all other sources, gas, nuclear, coal, you name it have a fuel input cost, we don’t because we get the sunlight for free so we’re required to price it at the lowest cost. From a community standpoint it will help lower costs at hubs.”
Baker said due to that they can have long-term contracts with a large business or utility and can hedge against project rising electricity costs.
“If a utility were to buy the electricity generated from our project, they would be buying it at a discount to what they charge residential and commercial customers,” Baker said. “The utilities own the power lines that bring the electricity from our project to homes and businesses and are responsible for pricing of electricity.”
Baker said they’re hoping to present the project to the community by the end of the year.
“It is very important to us to maintain open and transparent communications with the communities in which we work,” he said. “We want everyone to be engaged and educated on the details of this project.”