By Tammy Watts
GREENVILLE — At a recent Darke County Commissioners’ meeting, two representatives of Apex Clean Energy, Tyler Fehrman and Jessica Walsh, announced a delay in the potential development of the Painter Creek Solar project.
The change in plans resulted from PJM Interconnection, the largest electric grid in the nation, receiving too many requests from energy developers requiring connections to its regional network in the eastern United States. PJM is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that directs operations, and coordinates the maintenance of grid facilities in all or parts of 13 states, and Washington, D.C.
Since there are so many projects in queue, the Commercial Operations Date for Painter Creek Solar has been moved back from 2024 to 2025. Apex had originally planned to submit the application for Painter Creek Solar to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) in February or March; that process will now be on hold until July or August of this year.
The anticipated project footprint in Darke County is about 2,000 acres, and will produce a total capacity of approximately 165 megawatts (MW). A group known as the Darke County Citizens Preservation Association (DCCPA), among other residents, have voiced their dissatisfaction to local governing boards. Top concerns relate to state government overreach into local communities, the destruction of productive farmland, and how the land will be properly zoned.
The Darke County Board of Commissioners will be holding a special meeting seeking local input regarding the Painter Creek Solar project at Greenville Middle School on Monday, Feb. 28 from 6:30 p.m to 9 p.m.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Tammy Watts, email [email protected].