CFAES Give Today
Government Affairs

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Workshop Will Feature Ohio’s Largest Solar Farm, Other Ways to Go Renewable

Oct. 5, 2015

CAREY, Ohio — A solar installer whose headquarters building has its own sun-powered system and the largest solar farm in Ohio, which spans an area equal to some 80 football fields, are two of the highlights of the 2015 Renewable Energy Workshop.

The event, which is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at Vaughn Industries, 1201 E. Findlay St. in Carey in northwest Ohio.

“It’s for anyone interested in renewable energy, such as farmers, homeowners, small-business owners, financial and insurance companies, researchers and students, and state and local agency personnel,” said Yebo Li, the event’s organizer and a biosystems engineer with the college.

Biofuel from grasses, bioenergy from manure

Speaking will be renewable energy experts from the college and industry, including on such topics as solar energy, funding possibilities, growing grasses to make biofuels, and producing bioenergy through anaerobic digestion of manure and plant matter.

Also featured will be tours of:

  • The Vaughn Industries’ headquarters building, which runs a 50-kilowatt solar system. The specialty contracting company has installed solar systems ranging from 1 to 15 megawatts at sites from Ohio to North Carolina.
  • PSEG Solar, an 83-acre solar field in Wyandot County that has nearly 160,000 solar panels on more than 3,000 fixed-tilt solar arrays. The 12-megawatt farm produces enough electricity for more than 9,000 homes when the sun is shining.

Li said the tours and experts will give a “better understanding of the opportunities and challenges for renewable energy options in Ohio for businesses, farms and homes.”

Experts from Ohio State, industry

Scheduled to speak are:

  • Eric Romich, an energy development field specialist with the college who was heavily involved in finalizing the PSEG farm, on “Renewables in Ohio: Current Trends and Opportunities.”
  • Rafiq Islam, soil and bioenergy program leader at the college’s Ohio State University South Centersin Piketon, on “Growing Perennial Grasses for Biofuels.”
  • Alex Ringler, CEO of Marengo, Ohio-based Renergy Inc., on “Anaerobic Digestion of Livestock Manure: Opportunities and Challenges.”
  • Li on “Anaerobic Digestion of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks: Opportunities and Challenges.”
  • Brian Tschanen and Drew Roach, both of Vaughn, on “Trends in Solar Energy: An Industry Perspective.”

Discount registration by Oct. 27

Registration is $40 by Oct. 27, $50 after that date, and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Registration for college students is $20.

Transportation to the workshop site and the PSEG farm will be by the participants’ own vehicles or by a free vanpool ride leaving at 7 a.m. from the college’s research arm, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster in northeast Ohio. Space in the van is limited; reserve a space when registering.

To register, download and fill out the registration form available at and return it with payment.

Or send your name, contact information and check for payment — payable to OARDC/OSU — to Mary Wicks, OARDC/OSU, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Indicate if you’d like a spot in the vanpool from Wooster and whether you have any dietary restrictions.

Professional Engineer continuing education credits should be available to participants but the details are still to be confirmed.

For more information, contact Wicks at or 330-202-3533 or go to

The college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension, co-sponsored a workshop on how solar energy can save farmers money on Oct. 1 in northeast Ohio. A press release about the event is


Kurt Knebusch


Yebo Li

Mary Wicks