Ohio isn’t a state that is known for its substantial developments in solar power. At the end of 2020, it ranked 28th out of the 50 states with a little less than 100 megawatts of utility-scale solar. The state’s solar facilities were capable of powering just over 42,700 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
But all that could be about to change. According to estimates, Ohio’s utility-scale solar capacity will more than quadruple to over 400 megawatts in 2021. The Ohio Power Siting Board is responsible for approving new projects. It has 12 projects registered with it at various stages of development. If all 12 are constructed, Ohio could have over 5,000 megawatts of utility-scale solar by the mid-2020s.
It’s unlikely that all of these solar projects will be built. The SEIA predicts that 1,900 megawatts of new solar will be installed over the next five years.
The rapid growth of the industry in the state is impressing observers. “We’re glad to see the development there,” commented Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs with the SEIA. “It shows it can be done. It could lead to more development and more economic development.”
Dan Sawmiller of the Natural Resources Defense Council agrees. “You’re seeing buyers go into contract with these projects before they’re even permitted, because the demand is outpacing supply,” he said.