Proposed 100Mw Iowa solar project seeks approval to begin construction

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Two solar energy utility companies in Iowa have applied for permission to construct a 640-acre solar project nearly 3 miles west of Coggon. The plant will supply enough electricity to meet the needs of over 16,000 homes on average. Coggon Solar LLC, a partnership between Clenera and Central Iowa Power Cooperative, filed an application recently. The plan calls for generating 100 MW, if approved and built, for 35 years. Coggon Solar already has signed long-term leases with property owners to obtain the land required for the project, the application states. The land is currently used for farming.

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The application notes electricity generated by the project would “serve the load within the (Central Iowa Power Cooperative) member system, including Linn County.” Additionally, Linn County would receive an estimated US$4,750,000 in property tax revenue over the life of the project, according to the application. If approved, construction is expected to last a year, the application states, and would aim to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Construction would require a monthly average of 100 to 200 employees, according to the application, and could peak at about 300 workers. The project will use around 325,000 photovoltaic solar modules. The modules being used do not contain any hazardous materials, according to the application.

“Owing to the lack of hazardous materials in the modules, there is no possibility that the modules will leak such materials in the event of module damage, and as such there will be no damage or harm to the land, domestic animals, wildlife, flora, humans, the atmosphere or water resources drainage, runoff, etc. Photovoltaic modules are non-glare and are designed to absorb rather than reflect the sunlight reaching the modules. Hence, glare will not be an issue for the residents, travelers on local roads, or from airplanes above.” the application reads.