Nearly 8 in 10 likely Ohio voters support solar projects and welcome development in their communities

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition (USSEC) announced new Ohio polling data that shows an overwhelming majority of Ohio voters support renewable energy, support solar development and welcome it in their community. USSEC is a member-based trade organization representing utility-scale solar developers, manufacturers, and industry leaders throughout the state of Ohio.

“We knew Ohioans overwhelmingly supported renewable energy. This poll further shows that not only do Ohioans support solar, but that they welcome it in their communities,” said Jason Rafeld, Executive Director of USSEC. “Solar, which Ohioans see as a crucial part of our state’s energy future, will continue to bring economic prosperity to communities across our state.”

The poll also shows that Ohioans stand firmly behind their local farmers, who are leasing out their private land for solar development in order to support their income with reliable revenue. The vast majority (84%) of voters believe property owners have the right to do what they want with their land, even if that means moving away from traditional uses of farmland.

“Farming is changing dramatically, as agricultural expenses increase and revenues decrease. We make changes a prior generation only dreamed of. My family, and a number of neighboring farmers, believe harvesting solar energy is a way to preserve our farms for the future,” said Jane Sweet, a landowner in the Kingwood Solar Project and fourth generation farmer in Greene County.

“All across the nation, including Ohio, chambers of commerce are seeing clean energy companies joining their membership and making serious contributions to the local revenues and economic activity in their communities, dollars that school systems and local governments otherwise would not receive,” said Susan Munroe, Director of Economic Development, Chambers of Innovation and Clean Energy. “The findings throughout this survey of community support for solar are a direct result of the meaningful economic benefits that utility-scale solar companies are bringing to Ohio.Utility-scale solar companies are putting Ohioans to work, investing in our rural communities, and supplying power that our businesses demand.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • 76% welcome solar farm development in their community.
  • 71% believe schools are in need of additional funding.
  • 84% believe property owners have the right to do what they want with their land, even if that means moving away from traditional uses of farmland.
  • 65% believe Ohio should be working to attract major businesses to the area, like Google, Facebook, and Amazon Web Services.
  • 67% believe it is important to bring new sources of clean energy to the state.
  • 64% believe elected officials should do more to protect individual property rights.

Purple Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs firm, conducted an online survey of 750 Likely Voters in Ohio between December 24, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Sample and data collection were provided by Dynata. Respondents self-reported as registered voters in Ohio and indicated they are very likely/almost certain to vote in the US midterm election in 2022. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3.4%at the 95% confidence level.