The planned solar power plant will be located on a 500-acre site in southeastern Ohio that includes reclaimed lands owned by AEP Ohio.

AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power, announced Tuesday that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to negotiate a 20-year, power purchase agreement (PPA) for the energy generated from a 49.9-MW solar energy project with Turning Point Solar LLC, a joint venture of Agile Energy Inc. and New Harvest Power.

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The project will be constructed in three phases, with approximately 20 MW scheduled to commence commercial operation by late 2012. Phase 2 will add 15 MW and be operational by the end of 2013, while Phase 3 will begin delivering power to the grid by the end of 2014.

In 2008, Ohio passed Senate Bill 221, which includes alternative and renewable energy generation and procurement requirements for all retail electricity providers except municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. The legislation requires retail electricity providers to provide 25% of their retail electricity supply from alternative energy resources by 2025 and includes solar carve-outs. AEP Ohio is required to rely upon solar to supply 0.06 percent of its load in 2012, 0.09 percent in 2013, and 0.12 percent in 2014, with a requirement of 0.5 percent by the end of 2024 and thereafter.

In addition to construction jobs, it is anticipated that the project will bring 300 permanent jobs to Ohio through Turning Point’s negotiations with Prius and Isofoton, solar equipment manufacturers from Spain, to supply monocrystalline solar PV modules and solar trackers for the project from new manufacturing facilities constructed in Ohio.

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