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11/18/2021 - County Greenlights Mega Solar Fields - Click here to print this information

The DeKalb County Board approved 3 ordinances last night permitting the construction of 3 solar farms. One is a 500-Megawatt solar farm in Mayfield and South Grove townships with a coverage area spanning 3,557 acres. The second ordinance approves a 300-megawatt solar farm on 1,839 acres in Afton and Pierce townships. The afore mentioned projects grant special use permits to build and operate solar farms owned by Texas based Leeward Renewable Energy. The third ordinance approves two special use permits for Samsung Energy to build and operate a 90-megawatt solar field on 643 acres in Milan township. 13 people commented during the public comment portion. The majority were against the measures. The length of Setbacks was the main issue as many locals expressed concern over the reduction in setbacks in the ordinances.
John Frieders is the County Board Chairman. He clarified the language in the ordinance. "300 feet from the edge of the house or 100 feet from the property line, which ever is greater..."
Setbacks are designed to protect things. A setback between a building and the road protects the road from snow drifts or protects sight lines at a driveway. The lucrative arrangements are considered by many, a business victory for the county. The board voted 20 to 3 in favor for each ordinance.

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