Solar farm meeting planned in Cedarville

CEDARVILLE — Citizens for Greene Acres is hosting a community meeting to inform local residents about the proposed “Kingwood Solar Farm,” a utility-scale solar energy project being considered for construction in rural Miami, Cedarville, and Xenia townships.

At the meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, several guest speakers will provide educational information regarding solar farms.

According to a press release from the group, CGA is concerned about the compatibility and impact of a proposed utility-scale solar energy project, officially known as the “Kingwood Solar Farm.” The project developer, Lendlease Energy Development LLC (a subsidiary of Australian-based Lendlease Corporation Limited) is interested in a solar farm on land between SR 72, Clifton, and Wilberforce-Clifton Roads.

“Our members are not against solar-powered electricity per se,” said Joe Krajicek, a member of the CGA steering committee, who farms more than 1,000 acres in Cedarville and Miami townships. “We are absolutely for the residential-scale solar investments, such as panels on roof-tops or in residential yards.”

But Citizens for Greene Acres wants to ensure that local governments and residents have a say in any large, utility-scale solar energy projects (defined as generating 50 MW and greater) in Greene County and other rural regions of Ohio. CGA wants to ensure that large-scale energy projects are rigorously evaluated for their environmental impact, their effect on market values of nearby properties, local recreational facilities, and the aesthetic quality of natural and man-made landscapes, according to the release.

Featured speakers include Dale Arnold, director for energy, utility and local government issues at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Matt Butler, information officer for the Ohio Power Siting Board. Arnold and Butler will discuss energy market trends, construction guidelines, and remediation standards. Issues concerning eminent domain and farmland preservation will be explored, as well as what all community stakeholders can do to get involved in the Ohio Power Siting Board evaluation process.

Mike Schumacher, co-founder of the Little Miami Watershed Network will also speak about water and pollution issues relevant to the proposed project.

The meeting will be at Cedarville High School, 194 Walnut Street.

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