Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther made a public commitment for Columbus to go 100% renewable by 2022, as well as a commitment and goal for the Columbus community to be carbon neutral by 2050.
To achieve this goal, Mayor Ginther, working with City Council and community leaders, moved to create a 100% Ohio-based clean energy community choice aggregation program. In the 2020 election, Columbus voters overwhelming passed a 100 percent clean energy aggregation by 76 percent of the vote. The ballot language also required that all of the energy be produced to meet the needs of residents and small businesses in Columbus come from Ohio-based clean energy.
When Mayor Ginther announced this plan, many thought it ambitious and potentially unachievable. But fast forward nearly a year, with the Clean Energy Columbus program already online ahead of schedule and demonstrating success. As promised, clean energy projects are being built in Ohio, creating jobs for Ohio workers and will supply our Columbus homes and small businesses in the next few years.
That’s why Mayor Ginther, along with community partners (SWACO, BQ Energy, AEP Energy, IMPACT Community Action, & Sierra Club’s Ready for 100) stood together at a press conference this past September to announce the inclusion of the Columbus Solar Park as part of the Clean Energy Columbus program.
The Columbus Solar Park is a 49.5 MW solar project being developed on a 173-acre property that once served as Franklin County’s sanitary landfill between Jackson Pike and I-71. The property is a perfect opportunity to provide clean energy to Columbus, while being generated right here in Franklin County with a local workforce.
As Ty Marsh with SWACO said, the project is “a visual billboard to demonstrate our community’s commitment to clean energy.” The Columbus Solar Park will serve as a shining beacon for all entering the City of Columbus from the south.
The former landfill will be transformed into the largest solar facility of its kind in the U.S. The clean energy produced will stay in our community and be used by Columbus residents and small businesses.
The project will result in cleaner air and create over 200 jobs. Additionally, the solar project will serve as an educational tool for children and residents in the Columbus area.
Through the Clean Energy Columbus program we are creating cleaner air, clean energy jobs, and opportunities for years to come.