Massive Dayton solar project that could power 13K homes moves a step closer to construction

A proposed multi-million dollar solar project that could power 13,000 local homes could begin construction late next year in Dayton if things go the developer’s way.

The solar project would be the largest ever in Dayton and would help local groups meet their sustainability goals and reduce their carbon footprints, officials said.

“The Gem City project will produce clean, renewable electricity that will flow right back into the Dayton grid to be consumed by Dayton-area homes and businesses,” said Ian Edwards, manager of project development with TED Renewables, the company behind the project.

The Dayton Plan Board recommended city commission approve a zoning map amendment to rezone about 70 acres of farm land in the 5100 block of Little Richmond Road to permit the installation of freestanding solar panels.

The Plan Board voted 4 to 1 for the change. Dayton City Commission will decide whether to approve or reject the zoning request.

Gem City Solar, a subsidiary of TED Renewables, wants to turn about 260 acres of farm land north of the intersection of Olive Road and Hoover Avenue in northwest Dayton into a solar park.

About 70 acres of the property is zoned residential and needs to be rezoned to a business park designation to permit freestanding solar panels as a principal use, said Tony Kroeger, Dayton’s division manager of planning and land use.

TED Renewables, based out of Kansas, wants to install solar panels and project equipment capable of generating 49.9 megawatts of electricity that will be fed into an existing transmission line that runs through the site, said Edwards.

Edwards said the Gem City Solar park will produce enough electricity to power 13,000 homes in the Dayton area.

“All of the electrons generated by this project will flow into the Dayton grid,” he said.

Construction on the project could begin in the fourth quarter of 2024 and would take about a year to complete, Edwards said.

The total project cost is unknown at this time, but projects of similar size have cost between about $75 million to $85 million, he said.

This project will provide grid resiliency and will help Dayton become a clean energy leader in Ohio, Edwards said.

TED Renewables is currently developing 170 megawatts of solar across the state of Ohio. The company’s closest project is a 120-megawatt park located in Hancock County.

Dayton’s solar project could generate more than $12 million in taxes to local taxing jurisdictions over the anticipated 35-year lifespan of the solar panels, officials said.

Local renewable energy generation is important in order to have a sustainable and resilient community, said Meg Maloney, a sustainability specialist with the city of Dayton.

“We are excited for this project as it will physically power 13,000 homes, provide a steady tax revenue for the region and will improve the ecological habitat of the area as they are planting native plants underneath,” she said.

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