Anonymously funded group stokes local opposition to Ohio solar project

Source: Ohio Capital Journal


An anonymously funded group is spreading misinformation about a rural Ohio solar project, according to project backers and others who reviewed claims made at a recent event.

Knox Smart Development was incorporated last month by Jared Yost, a Mount Vernon resident and opponent of the planned 120 megawatt Frasier Solar project. Three weeks later, on Nov. 30, the group hosted a catered “town hall meeting” at a Mount Vernon theater that included speakers with ties to fossil fuel and climate denial groups.

A company official with the solar developer, Open Road Renewables, was denied entry to the event, which was attended by approximately 500 people and featured complimentary food and drinks following the program.

It’s unclear who funded Knox Smart Development so it could pay for the event.

“There are people with concerns who are helping us, and they’ve all asked to remain anonymous,” Yost said when asked about its funding sources as people left the theater. “So we have local concerned citizens who are helping to fund this, including myself.”

A Dec. 7 filing advised developer Open Road Renewables and others that the Ohio Power Siting Board was ready to start review of the application for the Frasier Solar Project, which was filed in October. The project would be located in Clinton and Miller townships, both in Knox County. Yost and Knox Smart Development filed to participate in the case as parties on Dec. 8.

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