Open Road Renewables welcomes questions


Editor:

A recent writer discussed several concerns regarding weed control, herbicide use, and run off related to the construction and operation of two solar projects our company is developing in the county. Answers to many of these concerns can be found on the project websites, www.alamosolarproject.com and www.angelinasolar.com, and in each project’s application to the Ohio Power Siting Board (or “OPSB”), which are on the OPSB’s website and in the Eaton Branch of the Preble County Public Library.

As described in the applications, the projects will have year-round, mechanically maintained vegetative ground cover. This cover will consist of turf grasses, and careful consideration is also being given to including some pollinator species that could benefit area farming and ecology. Herbicide use will be limited to controlling noxious weeds via spot treatments with common commercial products. The amount and frequency of herbicide use will be negligible, however, compared to agricultural uses. Formal Landscaping and Vegetation Management Plans are required by the OPSB and will be subject to OPSB consultation and approval before implementation.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (or “ODNR”) also reviews each project’s application to assess any possible environmental issues, especially with regard to local waterways and natural areas such as Hueston Woods and Woodland Trails. Importantly, Lake Lakengren is in an entirely separate watershed from the ones in which the projects are located, meaning that the lake will receive no runoff from either project. Prior to construction, site drainage plans will be reviewed and approved by the OPSB, ODNR, and the Preble County Soil and Water Conservation District. Year-round ground cover, steep reductions in applications of agricultural fertilizers and other chemicals, and routine site maintenance will result in reduced runoff and improved water quality around the projects.

We invite anyone with questions to review the applications and please reach out to us with any questions about these topics or others.

Doug Herling

Open Road Renewables

SolarForPreble@openroadrenewables.com