Leeward breaks ground on 196MW Ohio PV plant using First Solar thin-film tech

Leeward contracted SOLV Energy to handle the EPC of the 196MW ‘Big Plain Solar’ project in Ohio. Image: Brian Doll, SOLV Energy.

Renewables developer and operator Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has started the construction of a 196MW solar PV plant in London, Ohio.

The company has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with telecommunications giant Verizon Communications to supply the power from the ‘Big Plain Solar’ project, which is part of a larger PPA between both companies signed in January 2022.

The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the project will be handled by EPC contractor SOLV Energy.

First Solar will provide its thin-film PV solar modules, with both companies signing a multi-year procurement agreement earlier this year for 1GW of First Solar’s modules.

Moreover, the project will take into consideration its surrounding environment by implementing sustainable practices that includes a soil health monitoring programme and a pollinator habitat for bees.

John Wieland, chief development officer at LRE, said: “Across the LRE portfolio, we are continuously looking for ways to implement innovative land management practices to improve the soil health and aesthetics of our projects, and we look forward to implementing these practices at Big Plain Solar.”

Leeward Renewable Energy expects the ‘Big Plain Solar’ project to reach commercial operation by June 2023.

Last June, the US developer had started work on a 200MW solar plant in Texas that is expected to be operational by the last quarter of 2023.

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