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Environment & Energy

Samsung in Talks with Stark County to Build 800-Acre Solar Farm

An aerial view of 52-megawatt solar farm built by Silicon Ranch in Hazlehurst, Ga.
WKSU
An aerial view of the 52-megawatt solar farm built by Silicon Ranch in Hazlehurst, Ga. If Samsung's deal for Stark County farmland goes through, it is expected to be operational in March 2024.

Samsung Renewable Energy is planning to lease an 800-acre property in Washington Township near Alliance, using the land to build a solar farm.

The deal could be impacted by Ohio Senate Bill 52, which will be effective Oct. 11. The new law allows county commissioners to prevent solar and wind farms from being built in their counties.

The Stark County Regional Planning Commission has been in ongoing negotiations with Samsung. Despite the new law, the commission’s Chief of Planning Jonelle Melnichenko says that Samsung hopes to wrap up the agreement before it takes effect.

“It adds a little more local control to the project, but this one is coming at a time when it might be grandfathered in before that bill takes effect, or if not then it would be subject to those requirements,” she said.

Senate Bill 52 also allows citizens to gather signatures for petitions in order to take the issue to the ballot if they disagree with their county’s decision.