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Ogle County Board Splits Approval of Solar Projects

Board Member Dan Janes explains the importance of preserving farmland in Ogle County

OREGON - At the Ogle County Board meeting Tuesday night, the board chose to deny one solar project and approve another that will expand alternative energy production in the region.

County Board member Dan Janes, from Stillman Valley, cited the resolution passed in March supporting agriculture in Ogle County, saying that it was in the interest of the county to protect farmland.

“The placement is the big issue,” Janes said, “It’s always easier to go to the closest substation or area that’s convenient for them, but we have a lot of high grade class A and class B ground in this county, and we have 10’s of thousands of acres to choose from.  Why would you take your best ground out of production?”

A 5 MW community solar project from Cenergy Power out of California was proposed to be placed on 33 acres near the 3500 block of North Union Road. The zoning board of appeals voted 3-1 against approval of the project in Lincoln Township, and when presented to the full board, they voted to unanimously deny the special use permit.

A second project, from TPE, a company in Colorado, will be a 4.99 MW community solar project occupying 23.4 acres near 11500 block of North Meridian Road.  The Ogle County Zoning Board of Appeals previously voted 4-0 in favor of the project in Byron Township. The full county board unanimously approved the solar farms special use permit.

Janes noted that Ogle County has 19 possible applications for further solar development on the way, with as many as 8 more projects beyond those.

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