Soltage acquires Cincinnati Zoo solar project, now under construction

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Soltage announced the close of a 28 MW solar project which has started construction in Ohio on land owned by the Cincinnati Zoo. Soltage acquired the project from Melink Solar Development, which specializes in pre-construction development services for large-scale solar PV projects.

The Cincinnati Zoo project entered into two Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Calpine Energy Solutions for all of the electricity generated from both phases of the project, which will be utilized to serve their customer’s electricity requirements.

“We’re glad to work with Soltage’s team of experts, combined with their comprehensive financing capabilities, to advance solar energy in Ohio,” said Donna Jones, Partner at Melink Solar Development. “The team’s long track record of developing, owning, and operating clean energy assets has made for an excellent partnership.”

This is Soltage’s first project to utilize sheep grazing for vegetation management. Sheep grazing is mutually beneficial for the project, and local communities, as it maintains vegetation below the solar projects while helping restore soil carbon and overall soil health. Soltage is partnering with Ohio Solar Grazing, a local sheep farmer that manages a pasture-based livestock operation, to maintain the land located about 20 miles outside Cincinnati.

“This unique agrivoltaic project, built against the backdrop of the historic Cincinnati Zoo, marks the first site in our portfolio to implement sheep grazing to maintain the land, giving us a chance to partner with the local community in new ways,” said Jesse Grossman, CEO of Soltage. “We’re proud to expand clean energy in Ohio and support American businesses in their transition to decarbonize operations.”

“Using the Cincinnati Zoo’s land for clean energy generation is in perfect alignment with its vision of conveying knowledge, conserving nature and serving the community,” said Mark Fisher, Vice President of Facilities, Planning, and Sustainability at Cincinnati Zoo. “We’re thrilled to host this project that creates opportunities for education about solar energy, implements the restorative benefits of sheep grazing for soil health, all while creating new jobs.”

Soltage has raised and invested over $1 billion into clean energy infrastructure nationally since its founding in 2005. The company has developed over 100 clean energy projects and has more than 450 MW of total distributed generating capacity under construction and management across the country.

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