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More solar farms planned for DeKalb County after ordinance gives green light

WANE 15|Ethan Dahlen|September 23, 2022
IndianaImpact on LandscapeImpact on PeopleZoning/PlanningPhotovoltaic Solar
Shull said she was upset that there have not been public meetings where solar companies have asked for or gotten permits to make these farms. Many concerned citizens gave their comments and concerns in public meetings. Citizens are concerned about more than just what EDF is planning as well. The Facebook group opposing the farms is also worried about land bought by a company called Thalassa Energy Project LLC, the company building the farm near SDI.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. – Citizens in DeKalb County are up in arms about solar farms.
 
So much so that there’s a Facebook group that’s name is pretty on the nose: “Stop Solar Farms DeKalb County.”
 
Too late.
 
After an ordinance allowing solar farms in the county under certain criteria was passed in October 2021, a 55-acre solar farm was built along the west side of Interstate 69 in Auburn, and a 1,250 acre solar farm is planned near the Steel Dynamic plant in Butler.
 
And more appear to be coming to the county’s rural areas.
 
A Facebook video from resident Jessica Shull effectively went viral this week, as Shull raised concerns about a planned solar farm “across the street” from her home.
 
“They stopped at my house to inform me they would be putting in them in across the street,” said Shull of one of the planned solar farms. “They wanted to start construction in 2024 and be in use in 2025.”
 
Shull said the workers that talked to her were from EDF Renewables, according to her. She said representatives from the San Diego-based independent power producer were talking to neighbors and handing out a map of the planned solar field.
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. – Citizens in DeKalb County are up in arms about solar farms.
 
So much so that there’s a Facebook group that’s name is pretty on the nose: “Stop Solar Farms DeKalb County.”
 
Too late.
 
After an ordinance allowing solar farms in the county under certain criteria was passed in October 2021, a 55-acre solar farm was built along the west side of Interstate 69 in Auburn, and a 1,250 acre solar farm is planned near the Steel Dynamic plant in Butler.
 
And more appear to be coming to the county’s rural areas.
 
A Facebook video from resident Jessica Shull effectively went viral this week, as Shull raised concerns about a planned solar farm “across the street” from her home.
 
“They stopped at my house to inform me they would be putting in them in across the street,” said Shull of one of the planned solar farms. “They wanted to start construction in 2024 and be in use in 2025.”
 
Shull said the workers that talked to her were from EDF Renewables, according to her. She said representatives from the San Diego-based independent power producer were talking to neighbors and handing out a map of the planned solar field.
 
WANE 15 has contacted EDF but we have not yet received responses to our questions.
 
Shull said she was upset that there have not been public meetings where solar companies have asked for or gotten permits to make these farms.
 
Many concerned citizens gave their comments and concerns in public meetings.
 
Citizens are concerned about more than just what EDF is planning as well.
 
The Facebook group opposing the farms is also worried about land bought by a company called Thalassa Energy Project LLC, the company building the farm near SDI.
 
Thalassa has bought three properties in DeKalb County that add up to about 263.3 acres.
 
Since the ordinance was passed it seems unclear if there is anything disgruntled residents of DeKalb County can do to stop solar farms from being installed.
 
DeKalb County Commissioner Todd Sanderson told WANE 15 that while from a logistical level he may not agree with the efficiency of solar panels, he does think it’s a great win for the county. The land solar farms sit on is taxed at a higher rate than regular farmland, Sanderson explained.
 
Now it’s all up to companies to find land that will appease the ordinance, like being “400 feet from any nonparticipating existing dwelling, church, school or commercial business and approved by Development Plan.”
 
Sanderson said the restrictions on solar farms in the county that were passed in the ordinance (which can be found here) are strict enough.
 
Many disagree.

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.wane.com/news/loc…

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