Stark Solar urges commissioners to rethink opposing farm development.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 5, 2024
'We're going to keep trying.' Stark Solar asks commissioners to reconsider farm opposition.jpegOrginal image from: https://www.cantonrep.com/story/news/local/2024/06/05/stark-solar-asks-commissioners-to-reconsider-project-opposition/73987408007/

Stark Solar is seeking the support of county commissioners for their proposed 150-megawatt solar farm in Washington Township. Despite facing opposition from the board in May, the company is determined to showcase the benefits of the project to the local community. Chris Simmons, the project manager for Stark Solar, emphasized the economic advantages and urged the commissioners to reconsider their stance.

Seeking Reconsideration

In a recent meeting, Simmons made a compelling case for the Stark Solar project, highlighting the positive impact it could have on the region. With the potential to generate over $57 million in tax revenue and provide power to thousands of homes, the solar farm promises significant benefits to Stark County. Simmons emphasized the company’s commitment to transparency and adherence to strict permitting regulations.

Local Support and Opposition

David Russell Jr. from the Ohio Operating Engineers Trade Union expressed support for the project, citing the employment opportunities it could create for local workers. However, the project faced opposition from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. Despite the differing opinions, Stark Solar remains determined to move forward with the initiative.

Ohio Power Siting Board Influence

While the opposition from county commissioners and township trustees may not halt the project entirely, their resolutions will be presented to the Ohio Power Siting Board for consideration. The board consists of local and permanent members who will vote on the project approval. This process underscores the importance of local input in large-scale projects like Stark Solar’s solar farm.

Community Engagement and Economic Benefits

Stark Solar has actively engaged with the community through public sessions and studies submitted to the Siting Board. The company’s efforts to address environmental concerns and collaborate with local authorities demonstrate a commitment to responsible development. With a focus on economic growth and clean energy, Stark Solar aims to be a valuable contributor to Ohio’s evolving energy landscape.

Continued Advocacy

Despite facing challenges, Stark Solar remains resilient in their pursuit of the solar farm project. The company is dedicated to overcoming opposition and showcasing the long-term benefits of renewable energy to the local community. By advocating for the project’s approval, Stark Solar hopes to pave the way for sustainable energy initiatives in Stark County.

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