The 5MW Mapes Road solar farm in Dixon, Illinois, has received approval from the Lee County Board.
The parent firm of Maples Road Solar LLC, New Leaf Electricity, applied to Lee County for a special use permit. The permit would facilitate the construction of the five-megawatt community solar farm that aims to sign up customers for discounted electricity.
Board members Angie Shippert, Keane Hudson, Michael Pearson, and Chris Robertson cast the dissenting votes. This brought the final voting total to 11-4-1 in favour of the project. Bob Olson, the board’s chairman, stayed out of the vote.
The projects site
The Maples Road Solar Farm in Illinois will be developed on 35 acres piece of land that is a portion of a nearly 300-acre lot. The plot is located east of the Dixon Municipal Airport at Maples and Stony Point Roads.
The planned lot footprint, according to company personnel, is mostly surrounded by farmland, and the neighbours are too far away to be called “adjacent.” The distance between neighbours and a neighbouring subdivision is between 950 and 2,200 feet.
To provide a buffer for neighbouring landowners, the county mandates visual screenings like trees or bushes. Visual screening or a one-time payment equal to the cost of landscaping and upkeep would be available to adjacent landowners.
Expectations for the 5MW Maples Road Solar Farm in Illinois
Construction will begin in about a year and take between four and six months to finish.
According to project developer Tom Ryan, the Maples Road Solar Farm in Illinois would produce enough electricity to power over 800 houses. Additionally, it will raise roughly $31,000 in property taxes for the county in its first year.
Furthermore, the Maples Road Solar Farm in Illinois will provide two or three long-term jobs to maintain the site, not to mention 30 to 40 temporary construction jobs. Ryan explained that the business intends to sell the 5MW Maples Road Solar Farm in Illinois after it is built.