ODNR provides recommended requirements for planning and development of solar energy facilities which are subject to Ohio Power Siting Board approval and certification.
Development of utility-scale solar energy facilities is increasing in Ohio with a typical project occupying an average of 1,750 acres. In February, ODNR adopted a list of best management practices and recommendations for utility-scale solar development projects in Ohio. For more information, click here. These recommendations provide guidance to developers on incorporating practices into a project to lessen impacts to Ohio’s wildlife and water resources and enhance pollinator habitat. Some of these recommendations include:
- Utility-scale solar development shall not be permitted on ODNR-managed public lands.
- Development is not recommended on unstable, erosion-prone surfaces such as on karst features, hillsides, and previously mined lands.
- At least 70% of the project area shall be planted in native and beneficial flowering plants, as opposed to turf grass and gravel.
- Because wetlands and streams are critical to maintaining good water quality and biological diversity in Ohio, buffers/setbacks have been established around these sensitive environments.
- Developers should avoid installing new drain tiles systems that may drain or impede replenishment of nearby wetlands or significantly increase drainage into adjacent waterways during precipitation events.
More information related to this can be found on Real Estate and Land Management’s Environmental Review webpage under the Ohio Power Siting Board related tab.