Toledo Solar Project

By Toledo Community Foundation

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Project Background

In the near future, as you’re driving down I-75 past the Willy’s Parkway exit in Toledo, Ohio, you will see the previously underutilized 80-acre brownfield which was once home to the thriving Jeep manufacturing plant. The site is now a modern manufacturing facility known as Overland Industrial Park, and is anchored by the Dana Corporation’s Toledo Driveline Facility, which is responsible for building the axles for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. With the help of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Toledo Community Foundation, and multiple local private businesses, this site is being revamped with the creation of a solar panel field.

This ongoing project, which began six years ago, represents the next step in ensuring the continued rebirth of this critical area of Toledo. In addition to an extensive overhaul of the former Jeep site, this project will tackle important community revitalization issues by positively impacting and transforming the surrounding neighborhoods which currently suffer from poor employment opportunities, foreclosures, and crime.


An unprecedented collaboration of 12 local organizations has teamed up who are eagerly committed to the inception of an innovative solar installation project for the Glass City. First Solar’s donation of their very own Series 6 PV modules combined with Yaskawa Solectria Solar’s newly designed inverters will be combined to produce an estimated 4 megawatts of power. This will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide by 4,184 tons, which is the equivalent of removing 802 cars from the roadways. Not only are all the materials manufactured by U.S. companies, but the technology is more efficient, uses less waste, and delivers significantly more energy than previous solar panel designs.

The Dana Corporation is committed to buying the energy generated from the solar panel field, and all revenue earned from the sale of this electricity will then be reinvested by Toledo Community Foundation (TCF) right back into the community. A new charitable supporting organization within TCF will own the solar field. TCF has continually supported local resident leaders in developing and initiating revitalization plans that meet the needs of the community. The invested money earned from the sale of electricity will be distributed for economic revitalization purposes including workforce development, job training, beautification projects, and other ventures that directly interest the general public.

The Impact

Although, the majority of materials and labor for this project are being donated by our local partners, there are still some costs that need to be funded. These items primarily include the mounting system that displays and lifts the panels off the ground. Our need is truly symbolic. By helping us cover the cost of lifting these solar panels, you will, in turn, help lift the surrounding neighborhood and restore the area to its past prominence.

Every cent raised through this effort will be used directly toward the project’s installation and the associated operational costs. Since Dana will be purchasing the energy produced from the solar array, the revenue from the sale of this energy will be a regular source of income over a long period of time to sustain growth.

Other Ways You Can Help

Some people just can’t contribute financially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help. If you are excited about this new innovative opportunity, please share this campaign via Twitter, Facebook or any other social media to help spread the word.

We thank you for your support!

If you have questions about the scope of this project, please contact Patrick Johnston at 419-241-5049 or [email protected]

If you have questions about how you can help support this project, please contact Vanessa Stein at 419-241-5049 or [email protected]

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Team Members

Kim Cryan

Joanne Olnhausen

Laura Sams

Vanessa Stein