Oak Run Solar, the largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the United States

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The largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the United States of America is set to be built in Madison County, which is located in Idaho’s Upper Snake River Valley. Agrivoltaics also known as agro photovoltaics, agrisolar, or dual-use solar, is the dual use of land for solar energy production and agriculture.

With a proposed energy production capacity of 800 megawatts and a 300-megawatt battery energy storage capacity, the farm, dubbed Oak Run Solar, is developed by Savion, a US-based company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

Savion, which is one of the country’s largest and most technologically advanced utility-scale solar and energy storage project development companies, is developing the largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the United States through Oak Run Solar Project, LLC.

Particularly, the Oak Run Solar will be set up on approximately 6,050 acres of land within Monroe, Somerford and Deercreek townships along State Route 29. A chunk of the project site is owned by Midwest Farms LLC (“MWF”), a privately owned Colorado limited liability company that specializes in raising hogs.

Oak Run Solar project status

The project is currently in the development phase. In April 2024 the project achieved a major milestone following its approval by Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB).

Originally known as the Ohio Power Siting Commission, OPSB, was established back in 1972 to guide the development of major energy infrastructure projects based on public need, environmental implications, land use considerations and economic impact.

The approval of the largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the United States comes amidst opposition by local officials claiming that the project doubles the amount of prime farmland in the county that will be taken out of production because of solar uses. This concern will however be addressed by planting crops along the edges of solar fields and allowing livestock to graze between the panels.

As per the approval, in the first year of operation, Oak Run Solar must graze at least 1,000 sheep and grow crops on 2,000 acres. Within eight years of operation, at least 70% of the farmable project area, or at least 4,000 acres, must include agrivoltaics.

Project expectations

The construction of the Oak Run Solar is expected to begin next year, 2025. Upon completion, at an estimated cost of US$ 1 billion, the project will not only become Ohio’s largest solar farm but also the largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the whole of the United States.

The facility will generate up to 800MW of clean electricity, which is enough to power approximately 170, 000 Ohio households. The electricity generated by Ohio’s largest solar farm will be evacuated and connected to the PJM power grid through a nearby 765kV line.

Other than electricity generation, the Oak Run Solar Farm like any other renewable energy project is expected to lessen carbon emissions and contribute to the diversification of the nation’s electricity grid. Furthermore, it is expected to generate US$ 250 million in tax revenue for Madison County over its 35-year operational life, creating an immense positive effect on the local economy.

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