“We are excited to partner with local leaders and Madison Fields Solar Project on the development of this solar facility that brings additional investment into the community,” said Christina O’Keeffe, the executive director of OAQDA. “In addition to the air quality and economic benefits, the project embraces an innovative approach known as ‘agrivoltaics,’ providing continued revenue opportunities for local farmers.”
The Madison Fields project is being developed by Savion Energy of Kansas City, Missouri, and is expected to be completed in December 2023 and plans to operate for at least 30 years. The company is working with Ohio State University’s Extension Service on pairing agriculture with solar.
Agrivoltaics allows PV solar projects to substitute agriculture and agricultural practices in lieu of ground cover and mechanical upkeep. By combining solar projects with livestock (sheep, goats, or chickens), or cultivating crops on solar energy sites, power production can co-exist with agriculture and agricultural practices. This can improve soil health, preserve farmland, and increase biodiversity.
The 180-MW solar facility is expected to generate the equivalent power for up to approximately 35,000 households. The project creates two full-time permanent jobs and 596 full-time temporary positions during the construction phase.
Local revenue resulting from this project will go to the local taxing district and Madison County. Pike Township also will receive $3 million over the lifetime of the project.
The company has received community support for the project including from the Board of Commissioners of Madison County, the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, Pike Township and Fairbanks Local School District.
News item from The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority