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Local

Grundy County Board approves 4 solar farms

Another solar farm permit application was placed on file at Tuesday’s meeting

Attorney Mark Gershon presented the results of impact studies commissioned for several Cypress Creek Renewables projects to the Grundy County Planning Commission Committee on March 27.
Attorney Mark Gershon presented the results of impact studies commissioned for several Cypress Creek Renewables projects to the Grundy County Planning Commission Committee on March 27.

MORRIS – Four solar farm applications were approved Tuesday at the regular meeting of the Grundy County Board. A permit for a fifth farm was placed on file at the meeting as well.

The first farm approved was a 13-acre solar farm in Wauponsee Township on Route 47 about four miles south of Morris.

The board requested 17 conditions for the property, covering concerns such as landscaping, engineering reviews and electronic interference.

The second approval is the construction of two nearly identical solar farms next to each other. Called Pennypacker and Pennypacker II, the farms would each be about 39 acres in size.

When the application for the sites was first presented, it wasn’t sure it would be approved. Although Cypress Renewables was hoping to build both facilities as two community solar farms, it was not clear whether the state would approve the move because the farms were so close. The company applied for both in the hopes that Illinois would allow the plan.

“We’re submitting for both, should we have the ability to do both,” said Scott Novack, a senior developer with Cypress Creek Renewables said at the first hearing. The state approved the plan.

Novack said the project would be a total investment of $4 million, including $2 million locally.

The board had a request of 18 conditions for the two farms to follow.

A fourth farm approved at the County Board meeting is also a Cypress Creek Renewables project in Verona Township. The 32.8-acre solar farm would sit on a 156-acre plot. The board requested 19 conditions be added to the permit.

A permit for a new solar farm was placed on file by the board at Tuesday’s meeting. The farm is owned by Mazon Solar LLC and is located west of the Higgins and McArdle roads intersection in Wauponsee Township.

The farm plans to produce between 2 and 4 megawatts of power.

The County Board also placed on file a text amendment for the county’s unified development ordinance. As the county moves toward eliminating the planning commission, it had to remove language in the ordinance that referred to the planning commission.

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