Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has commenced on-site construction on the 196 MW Big Plain Solar project located near London, Ohio. The renewable energy generated by the project will be supplied to Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement.
SOLV Energy, a solar and energy storage construction company, serves as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor on the project, which will utilize First Solar advanced, ultra-low carbon thin-film photovoltaic solar modules. Big Plain Solar is expected to provide approximately 400 construction jobs, with at least 80% to Ohioans, furthering LRE’s commitment to hiring local labor.
As part of LRE’s pledge to being responsible stewards of the land it develops and manages, the company will implement numerous sustainable practices at Big Plain Solar, including maintaining a soil health monitoring program and curating a 70-acre pollinator habitat.
“At Verizon, we are committed to building a greener U.S. energy grid through proven sustainable and socially responsible strategies and programs,” says James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of global supply chain. “The groundbreaking at the Big Plain solar facility is another step on our way to achieving net zero emissions in our operations by 2035.”
“The start of construction at Big Plain Solar is an integral step in the advancement of LRE’s solar portfolio and an important milestone for Ohio and the local community,” comments John Wieland, chief development officer at LRE. “This project not only brings economic development benefits to Madison County, but also environmental benefits. 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. We thank Madison County and the rest of the community for their continued support and long-term partnership.”
LRE expects the project will reach commercial operation by June 2023.