A proposed utility-scale solar facility was discussed by the Edgerton City Council at a work session Sept. 23.
Johnson County is currently updating their comprehensive plan and zoning regulations to address utility-scale utility providers. NextEra Energy is considering a future solar facility in an unincorporated area. Area cities have been asked to review plans and provide comments.
Following the regular meeting, council member gave feed back regarding the proposed solar regulations. They voiced concerns about the one-mile buffer area from cities which could impact future growth, buffering for neighboring properties, dangers involving battery fires and wildfires, the length of the term of the conditional use permit, environmental concerns about wildlife corridors and storm water, and keeping the solar projects contiguous.
“I’d like to see the county solar projects go through the same development process that cities utilize,” said Don Roberts, mayor.
Energy from a utility-scale solar facility is not used directly at the host site. the proposed project includes 2,000 acres and , according to proposed regulations, would provide for a one mile buffer with area cities. Life span would be 20 years, altho could potentially even be longer, and could affect future growth area.
There will be a Zoom Webinar online meeting at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 28, 2021 for comments from city representatives regarding the impact of the proposed solar facility regarding impact on future growth and development.
Proposed county zoning regulation amendments include:
a term of up to 20 years; photovoltaic panels, charge regulators, iinverters, substations, battery energy storage facilities parking area s and fencing; up to 2,000 acres (3.1 sq. mi.); greater than 1 mile from cities; disturbed land to be reseeded with prairie grasses, forbs and pollinators; screening; battery energy storage facilities; decommissioning and reclamation.
More information is available on Edgerton’s website in the Sept. 23 work session agenda packet. Residents who are concerned about a large-scale solar project should contact the County’s planning department.
In other business:
The council signed off on a new design for Glendell Acres Park. There will be new playground equipment, upgraded skate park, a shelter, fitness area and walking trail. The park is designed this with all ages in mind.
Council also approved the CDBG sewer project at 7th and Nelson to fix the sanitary sewer lines in that area. The plan is to replace the clay pipe with new PVC pipe and fix the manholes to reduce the amount of inflow and infiltration of storm water into our sanitary sewer system. That’s good for both the environment and for our utility customers.