Residents Talk About Grange Solar Project


By: Michael Kildow & April King

From April 30th through May 8th, Open Road Renewables’ Grange Solar project will host a Listening Tour to hear from the Logan County community. Residents’ input from the Listening Tour will contribute to Grange’s Community Report and Commitments, which will be released following the tour. All Logan County residents interested in learning more about the Grange Solar project and voicing their opinions are encouraged to attend a Listening Tour event.

On Tuesday night, April 30th, more than 60 area residents were on hand to learn more and contribute personal insight as part of a listening study for the potential new Open Road Renewables project here in Logan County. Doug Herling, Vice President, of Open Roads Renewables comments on expectations of Tuesday’s first meeting and the future tour stops:

This first of four “Listening Sessions,” all to be held in a round table format, are utilizing third-party, non-partisan facilitators with preset questions. The facilitating organization, from Columbus, Ohio, Outcomes Management Group was led by president, Dr. Patricia Hicks. Dr. Hicks addressed the group and laid out the ground rules for the discussions to take place within each of the five groups. She made clear all responses were important and valuable, and each facilitator will help keep responses and discussions moving in a timely and respectful manner. She also restated what was clearly posted on several signs, “Audio and video recording would be taking place all through the session.” Further explaining this was “Not to single anyone out, but rather to help accurately report all discussions from each group.”

The preset five questions used to solicit responses and gain further insight were:

  • Agriculture: 1) Do you think strategies can be used to minimize potential negative impacts on the agricultural economy?”
  • Balancing Property Value and Rights: 2) Do you think that a nearby solar project could affect the value of the farmer’s property?”
  • Then to follow-up 3) “Do you think that a nearby solar project could affect the value of neighbors’ properties?”
  • Community Benefits: 4) Like any major local investment, solar projects have a significant financial impact on the community. Please share how, if the project moves forward, you would like to see local officials invest the funds generated into the community.”
  • The last discussion topic focused on Environmental Conditions asking, 5) “How do you think Solar will impact the following? (A list of eight factors was provided on the questionnaire for input.)

A final opportunity was afforded to each group to openly readdress the questions and further discussion. At the conclusion, the group facilitator collected each questionnaire to be added with all the data collected by audio and video throughout the evening.

The next three “Listening Sessions” are scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, and Tuesday, May 7 from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center and again at Indian Lake High School on Wednesday, May 8, also from 5:30-7:30 PM. Anyone attending should expect each session to last two hours and audio and video recording will be utilized throughout the entire session.

For more information about the Open Road Renewables Grange Solar project go to

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