* Dayton Power says to build 1.1MW solar array in Ohio

* Says project to cost about $5 mln

* Says project to be functional by March, 2010

Dec 16 - DPL Inc's (DPL.N) principal unit The Dayton Power and Light Co said it plans to construct a 1.1 Megawatt (MW) solar array near its Yankee substation in Southwestern Ohio at a cost of about $5 million.

Dayton Power said the construction of the solar array -- many interconnected solar cells which convert solar energy from the sun into electrical current -- will diversify its generation portfolio and support its compliance with Ohio's renewable energy needs.

The project is expected to begin this month and is expected to be functional in March 2010.

After completion, the facility will consist of 9,000 solar panels constructed over 7 acres, and will generate enough electricity to power nearly 150 homes, Dayton power said.

The company also said the solar facility will be constructed in partnership with a number of regional companies led by Ameridian Specialty Services of Cincinnati. Shares of DPL closed at $28.42 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)