Kiwanis Club Learns of Solar Energy Project; Students of the Month Honored.
The Bellefontaine Kiwanis Club honored students of the month from Calvary Christian School, Benjamin Logan High School, and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center yesterday. The students honored include Josh Harmison and Jayla Wilson of Calvary Christian. Austin McGowan and Gretchen Wilber of Benjamin Logan and Rivvyn Café, Kaylee Williams, Jonny Branstiter, and Qaizyn Café of Ohio Hi-Point were also honored.
Charlotte Mellow and Colin Mclaren spoke with Kiwanians and their guests about the Fountain Point Solar Energy Center Project, a 280-megawatt solar-powered electric generation facility. This project would make Logan County the home of Invenergy’s eighth proposed solar project in Ohio. Invenergy is a privately held, global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions. The company is in the early stages of this project but has successfully negotiated land agreements for 45-year leases with landowners of 1200 acres in Bokescreek, Perry, and Rushcreek Townships.
A public information meeting is scheduled for a later date in 2021.
Through a pilot program allowing Invenergy to make a flat-rate payment in place of taxes, the company will make annual municipal and county payments of approximately $2 million per operational year of the project. This amount is more than current property owners pay in property taxes. Invenergy estimates investing another approximate $2.4 million in Logan County per year through lease payments and other business costs. During construction of the project, Invenergy is required to employ 80% or more Ohio-domiciled individuals in construction jobs. It is estimated 800 jobs will be created locally to construct this electric generation project.
Once the facility is created, four or five people will be employed to run the facility. Invenergy will also be required to repair all roads, bridges, and culverts affected by construction and will post a bond to ensure funding for repairs and the required removal and recycling of all solar panels and materials once the 45-year lease has ended. The land is required to be returned to its current use as farmland through the funds in the bond.
Mellow spoke about the noise impact study completed for this project and assured Kiwanians that noise emitted by the solar panels was comparable to a refrigerator running. Also, solar panels do not impact the bird population like wind turbines. They are not reflective. It ensures the vision of people driving or flying next to the solar farm will not be affected.