The Birch Solar project will deliver nearly 600,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually into the local AEP grid, reducing carbon emissions by 423,700 metric tons each year
Lightsource bp has executed a power purchase agreement with Amazon for a new 375 megawatt (MWdc) solar project under development in Ohio, as part of Amazon’s long-term commitment to power its global infrastructure with renewable energy. Once complete, the solar facility is expected to deliver nearly 600,000 megawatt hours (MWh) annually of additional renewable energy for Amazon operations locally – equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 55,000 U.S. homes.
The project will be located in Auglaize and Allen Counties. Generation from the solar project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 423,700 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 91,515 fuel burning cars off the road.
Michael Ruppert, Business Manager IBEW Local Union 32: “This solar project will bring additional investment dollars into our community, while helping to power both local businesses and the economy. New and established businesses like Amazon are investing in Ohio, and with that investment comes the desire to be able to purchase home-grown Ohio power that’s cost competitive, clean and renewable. Projects like this allow for energy investment and other economic benefits to remain local.”
Local economic development
Solar projects do more than reduce emissions that negatively affect our environment and the health of Ohioans. They also help strengthen local economies by contributing significant new annual revenue to schools and other public services, bringing multi-million-dollar annual operations budgets, and creating good paying construction jobs. It is expected that the Birch Solar Project will be the largest corporate taxpayer in Allen County. Locally generated renewable energy also attracts and retains businesses such as Amazon, who significantly contribute to Ohio’s economy.
Stephanie Kromer, Director of Energy & Environmental Policy at Ohio Chamber of Commerce: “Amazon has a long-term commitment to utilize 100% renewable energy and has invested in operations infrastructure in Ohio. In just three years, the combined direct, indirect and induced effects of Amazon’s investment in our state could create thousands of new jobs for Ohioans, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new regional income and GDP in Ohio.”
Additional economic investment and local benefits of this project will include:
- Approximately $94 million in additional revenue for the local communities through a PILOT program over the life of the project, with $1.5 million to local school districts each year, for 35 years.
- 400 or more jobs during the 18-month construction of the facility, with 80% or more local Ohio labor.
- A $4.6 million annual operations budget, to be primarily spent in region.
- An estimated $314-364 million of private investment by Lightsource bp and project investors into energy infrastructure for the state, helping diversify Ohio’s energy portfolio and strengthening energy security with local electricity generation.
Emilie Wangerman, SVP of Business Development for Lightsource bp: “Investment in renewable energy by corporates such as Amazon is spurring development of clean and affordable energy sources in the U.S. that are benefiting everyone – from reducing pollution from electricity generation for our country’s overall grid to economic benefits, including new revenue for schools, that are staying local and supporting communities near the projects."
About Lightsource bp
Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. Our purpose is to deliver affordable and sustainable solar power for businesses and communities around the world. Our team includes over 500 industry specialists, working across 14 countries. We provide a full service to our customers, from initial site selection, financing and permitting through to long-term management of solar projects. Lightsource bp in the U.S. is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Houston. Since late 2017, the team has developed a pipeline of more than of more than 8 gigawatts of large-scale solar projects at various stages of development across the United States with over 2 gigawatts of contracted assets representing almost $2 billion in near term projects. For more information please visit lightsourcebp.com.