Developer Soltage announced the close of a 28-MW solar project that has started construction in Ohio on land owned by the Cincinnati Zoo. Soltage acquired the project from Melink Solar Development. The Cincinnati Zoo entered into two PPAs with Calpine Energy Solutions for all of the electricity generated from both phases of the project, which will be utilized to serve their customer’s electricity requirements. Investment firm Harrison Street owns the project and has hired Inovateus Solar as the EPC.
This is Soltage’s first project to utilize sheep grazing for vegetation management. Sheep grazing is mutually beneficial for the project, and local communities, as it maintains vegetation below the solar projects while helping restore soil carbon and overall soil health. Soltage is partnering with Ohio Solar Grazing, a local sheep farmer that manages a pasture-based livestock operation, to maintain the land located about 20 miles outside Cincinnati.
“This unique agrivoltaic project, built against the backdrop of the historic Cincinnati Zoo, marks the first site in our portfolio to implement sheep grazing to maintain the land, giving us a chance to partner with the local community in new ways,” said Jesse Grossman, CEO of Soltage. “We’re proud to expand clean energy in Ohio and support American businesses in their transition to decarbonize operations.”
The project will use VSUN bifacial panels, Solectria inverters and FTC tracking systems.
Timothy Sutherland, the Executive Chairman of Inovateus Solar commented: “The Cincinnati Zoo project, like our projects at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University, fits nicely into our strategic objective to help cities and universities transition to sustainable power. The Cincinnati Zoo touches so many young people and provides a fantastic opportunity to integrate the message of protecting animal habitats and our greater habituate for humanity.”
News item from Soltage
Nov. 3 update to include Inovateus Solar as the EPC.