Ohio Power Siting Board Permitting Process Information
Lightsource bp is developing the Birch solar project in Allen and Auglaize Counties, Ohio. Permitting of solar facilities over 50 megawatts in Ohio is a state led process which takes about a year to complete, administered by the Ohio State Siting Board (OPSB). It is among the most rigorous permitting processes in the United States and considers all aspects of a solar energy project. The OPSB process requires a suite of extensive studies in order to ensure that an energy project will be suitable and beneficial for both the state and the local community. Lightsource bp is strictly adhering to this process for its Birch Solar project, and submitted the permit application for Birch solar to the OPSB on Feb 12, 2021.
Community feedback helped shape our final plans
In order to share our plans for Birch Solar and obtain feedback directly from the local community prior to submittal of the full permit application to the OPSB, beginning in October 2020 we hosted four community information meetings – two in-person and two virtual with staff from the Ohio Power Siting Board. This is a critical step for us in all our solar projects. We listen to community input in order to help shape our final plans.
Based on input received from the community, we consolidated the project footprint and thereby reduced the land required for the project equipment, increased the distance the project is set back from nearby homes and local roads, and enhanced the landscape plan to plant additional evergreen vegetation to limit project visibility and preserve viewsheds. Additionally, we will create pollinator habitat to boost local biodiversity and foster wildlife habitat, including the potential of sheep grazing on the land to keep it in agricultural production. We’re committed to continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that Birch Solar is a great project for that community and the state.
Information Meeting Pre-Recording
We’ve pre-recorded the information presentation for the Birch Solar OPSB Public Information Meeting and uploaded it here – please watch to find out more about this project.
For answers to commonly asked questions from the community during our public information meetings, see our Birch Solar FAQs which will continue to be updated as we receive further questions from the community.
If you’d like to submit a question about the Birch solar project to the Lightsource bp team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the form below. We aim to get back to you within five working days.
Downloads & information
Please see below for more information on the Birch Solar project. We’ll keep adding information as it become available during development of the project.