Ohio Environmental Council, January 9, 2013
PUCO ruling against solar project is a step in the wrong direction for Ohio’s economy and environment.
Columbus, OH – In a controversial move today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ruled against AEP Ohio’s proposed Turning Point Solar project, stating that the utility and project developers did not demonstrate a need for the project.
“This ruling is a slap in the face to clean energy, new jobs, and Southeast Ohio” said Brian Kaiser, Director of Green Jobs & Innovation at the Ohio Environmental Council. “This solar project will add hundreds of jobs in a part of the state devastated by decades of economic decline.
“Let’s be clear, by rejecting the Turning Point solar project, the PUCO and this Administration is turning its back on an innovative project that will expand the footprint of Ohio’s clean energy economy,” continued Kaiser.
The Turning Point solar project aims to be the largest solar array east of the Rocky Mountains. The transformative 50 MW project would be built on reclaimed strip mine land in Noble County, maximizing the economic potential of thousands of acres of fallow strip mine lands.
Turning Point projected more than 100 jobs during each of the three-year installation phases. Importantly, the project also served as a magnet for additional investment and job growth. Isofoton, a Spanish solar manufacturer recently established its North American manufacturing facility in Napoleon, Ohio, because of the Turning Point project.
While the PUCO ruling is a major setback, the Ohio Environmental Council remains optimistic about the future of Ohio’s clean energy economy and hopeful that the Turning Point project can yet move forward.
The mission of the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home. The OEC is Ohio’s leading advocate for fresh air, clean water, and sustainable land use. The OEC has a 40-year history of innovation, pragmatism, and success. Using legislative initiatives, legal action, scientific principles, and statewide partnerships, we secure a healthier environment for Ohio’s families and communities.