The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on Feb. 12 told Lendlease Energy LLC that a December 2018 application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need regarding a solar project has been found to comply, meaning that the OPSB’s staff has received sufficient information to begin its review of the application.
According to Nestlewood Solar I LLC’s December 2018 application, Nestlewood is seeking approval to build and operate the 80-MW solar photovoltaic facility – the Nestlewood Solar project – located in Clermont and Brown counties in Ohio.
The project would consist of solar panel generators, as well as access roads, 34.5-kV electrical collector cables, meteorological stations, a facility substation, a utility owned switchyard, and 69-kV electric generation tie (gen-tie) line within an area of about 610 acres.
The energy generated by the project would deliver power to a single point of interconnection (POI) into Duke Energy Ohio Kentucky’s existing South Bethel-Brown 69-kV transmission line. Nestlewood added that the new project substation and utility switchyard would be built to connect with Duke’s existing 69-kV line.
The project would help meet electricity demand in the region, particularly in light of the recent and planned retirements of existing coal-fired generating assets located in Ohio and throughout the PJM Interconnection system, Nestlewood said.
The project area primarily consists of agricultural land, Nestlewood said, noting that the existing 345-kV electric transmission lines cross the project area, with areas of wooded vegetation and local roadways also present within the project area.
The project would consist of conventional solar panels affixed to metal racking designed for tracking the sun. Nestlewood also said that the solar panel technology for the project would be one of two basic types: crystalline or thin-film.
Underground electrical interconnections at a voltage of 34.5 kV would be used to transmit generated electricity from the solar panels to the project substation, where it would be stepped up to 69 kV, and transmitted to the utility switchyard. From there, Nestlewood added, a 69-kV gen-tie would connect the project’s electrical output to the existing South Bethel-Brown 69-kV transmission line.
The project is expected to operate with an annual capacity factor of about 25%, generating about 175,000 MWh of electricity each year.
The total estimated capital and intangible costs of the project is expected to be about $1,375/kW, inclusive of intangible costs and dependent on the final module, racking, and inverter suppliers and modules selected, Nestlewood said.
Among other things, Nestlewood added that the project schedule is based on the issuance of the OPSB certificate by May 2019, and the start of construction by June; commercial operation is planned for 2Q20.
As noted in the filing, Nestlewood is a wholly owned affiliate of Lendlease Energy Development LLC, which is a wholly owned affiliate of Lendlease Americas Inc.