Champaign County site to be 1 of 3 Amazon solar farms in Ohio

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Amazon plans to build a 144-megawatt solar farm in Champaign County to power its local operations and provide more renewable energy sources for the local community.

Farms will also be built in Crawford and Fayette counties, bringing the number of Amazon wind and solar projects in Ohio to 21.

“At Amazon, we’re constantly seeking innovative ways to bring more solar and wind projects online, both to power our operations, and to bring new sources of clean energy to the communities where our customers live and work,” said Nat Sahlstrom, head of energy, water and sustainability for Amazon Web Services, in a news release.

The project will be the first solar farm of its kind in Champaign County, Marcia Bailey, the director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, said in 2021 when the project was proposed.

It is expected to occupy roughly 1,075 acres on a 1,195-acre project area consisting “of private land secured by the applicant through agreements with the landowners,” according to Ohio Power Siting Board records.

It will be in the northwest corner of Adams Twp., approximately 2 miles northwest of Rosewood. It will supply wholesale power to an existing transmission line owned and operated by Dayton Power and Light. The power will be delivered at a location adjacent to Champaign-Logan Road between State Route 235 and Snapptown Road, according to the Ohio Power Siting Board.

According to the Amazon release, company investments in utility-scale renewable energy projects generated about $1.6 billion to local economies, and contributed $854 million in total gross domestic product from 2014 through 2022.

Amazon uses long-term contracts — power purchase agreements — in which the company agrees to buy the electricity produced by future renewable energy projects, which it says allow wind and solar farm developers to raise funds, buy equipment and build projects with no direct costs to the local community.

“These PPAs also generate economic activity in the communities where the projects are located, resulting in workers being hired to help manage the projects, and increasing business at nearby hotels, restaurants, and retail stores,” the release stated.

This effort plays into Amazon’s goal to power its operations with only renewable energy by 2025, which is five years earlier than its previous commitment, according to the release.

Amazon has 479 wind and solar projects globally, and according to the release, once they are operations they are expected to generate more than 71,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy annually. This is enough to power 6.7 million homes in the U.S.

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