Saunders Co board of directors approves solar farm

Project to build a solar farm near Yutan goes ahead, Saunders County Supervisory Board unanimously approved, action came despite county planning commission refusal Two weeks ago, the proposal from Community Energy, a Pennsylvania-based company, will build an 81-megawatt solar farm on 500 acres. “This project represents an investment of over $ 100 million,” said lead developer of the Community Energy project, Page Bolin. She said the panels would be extremely effective and safe. “The cells contain liquids or other toxic components. They have an anti-reflective coating and if for some reason any were damaged they are destined to shatter much like automotive glass was spider web. but held together, ”Bolin said. The council heard the benefits of the project. Electricity generated by the Platteview solar farm would be sold to the OPPD to diversify its portfolio and reduce carbon emissions. Approximately $ 300,000 in new property tax revenues would be generated each year. Much of the funds would go to the Yutan School District. “This is going to be positive for our property tax base,” said Jack Eager. But several other residents object to the location. “I’m not against the project… I’m only concerned about the site selection,” said James Sievken. The project is divided into three sections near an OPPD station. One of the sections borders a cemetery. The other sections are close to several houses. “Regarding drainage, roads, fires, public safety to name a few,” Teresa Akeson said. Akeson and others gathered more of 500 signatures. She said the project is rushed and needs to be slowed down. “Since the start of this project, it has been plagued by errors, a rushed nature and a lack of transparency,” Akeson said. Lincoln’s attorney, David Bargen, represents some of the landowners. He said many residents were made aware of the briefings with company officials after the meeting was held. “Clearly someone ‘one is in a hurry for this permit application, but county no It shouldn’t be, ”said Bargen. to determine if the project falls within an area zoned for transitional AG land. “Think about the use of the land, and that the use has to be in harmony with the terrain,” said Bargen. Several residents wondered why the project couldn’t be built on nearby land owned by the US government or the University of Nebraska Lincoln. This land is currently untaxed. “The sun is shining all over Saunders County,” Sievken said. Community Energy said other land is in the floodplain or on contaminated soil. “These have environmental issues that have financial implications,” Bolin said. Mary Fisher of the OPPD said they were willing to work on concerns about proper drainage, fires, spatter and setbacks. They also responded to the concerns of cemetery officials and signed an agreement. Saunders County District Attorney Joseph Dobesh said if council rejects the proposal, it would have to spell out the county’s zoning requirements that were not met. of this board to deny that it would run a very real risk of being overturned as being arbitrary and capricious, “Dobesh said. As part of the approval, the board added some additional conditions. The conditions and requirements are completed and a long-term maintenance agreement signed Work with neighbors and on drainage, screens, setbacks and landscaping Board approval of decommissioning and bonding agreement for the returning ownership to farmland after 30 years. and appointing OPPD as the contact of the board of directors. Jeremy Mumm is one of the landowners who has agreed to lease part of his land to Community Energy. to be, “said Mumm. Akeson and other residents who oppose the project said they had not decided whether or not to take legal action, but they did not give up. “I will follow the project and m ‘ensure it is compliant,’ said Akeson . .

The plan to build a solar farm near Yutan is moving forward.

Saunders County Supervisory Board gave its approval unanimously.

The action came despite the county planning commission’s refusal two weeks ago.

The proposal from Community Energy, a Pennsylvania-based company, will build an 81-megawatt solar farm on 500 acres.

“This project represents an investment of over $ 100 million,” said lead developer of the Community Energy project, Page Bolin.

She said the panels would be extremely effective and safe.

“The cells contain liquids or other toxic components. They have an anti-reflective coating and if for some reason any of them were damaged, they are destined to shatter much like automobile glass. was the spider’s web but held together, ”Bolin said.

The council heard the benefits of the project.

Electricity produced by the Platteview solar farm would be sold to OPPD to diversify its portfolio and reduce carbon emissions.

Approximately $ 300,000 in new property tax revenues would be generated each year. Much of the funds would go to the Yutan School District.

“This is going to be positive for our property tax base,” said Jack Eager.

But several other residents object to the location.

“I’m not against the project … I’m only concerned with the site selection,” said James Sievken.

The project is divided into three sections near an OPPD station. One of the sections borders a cemetery. The other sections are close to several houses.

“On drainage, roads, fires, public safety to name a few,” Teresa Akeson said.

Akeson and others have collected over 500 signatures. She said the project was rushed and needed to be slowed down.

“From the start of this project, it has been plagued by mistakes, a rushed nature and a lack of transparency,” Akeson said.

Lincoln’s attorney, David Bargen, represents some of the landowners.

He said many residents were told of briefings with company officials after the meeting was held.

“Clearly someone is in a rush on this permit application, but the county shouldn’t be,” Bargen said.

He said council needs to consider whether the project fits into an area set aside for transitional AG lands.

“Consider the use of the land, and that the use must be in harmony with the land,” Bargen said.

Several residents wondered why the project couldn’t be built on nearby land owned by the US government or the University of Nebraska Lincoln. This land is currently not taxed.

“The sun is shining all over Saunders County,” Sievken said.

Community Energy said other land is in the floodplain or on contaminated soil.

“These have environmental issues that have financial implications,” Bolin said.

Mary Fisher of the OPPD said she was willing to work on concerns about drainage, fires, and proper screenings and setbacks.

They also responded to the concerns of cemetery officials and signed an agreement.

“We’re committed to this project, we want to make sure it goes right and is successful,” Fisher said.

Saunders County Attorney Joseph Dobesh said if council rejects the proposal, it would have to clarify the county’s zoning requirements that would not be met.

“These reasons will have to be substantial, otherwise the decision of this council to deny it would really risk being overturned as being arbitrary and capricious,” Dobesh said.

As part of the approval, the board added a few additional conditions.

Including ensuring that all regulations and requirements are met and that a long term maintenance agreement is signed.

Work with neighbors and on drainage, screenings, setbacks and landscaping.

Council approval of decommissioning agreement and bond for return of ownership to agricultural land after 30 years.

Notification if ownership is transferred.

And by designating OPPD as the council’s interlocutor.

Jeremy Mumm is one of the landowners who has agreed to lease part of his land to Community Energy.

“I’m in favor of that if they’re a good neighbor like they say they will be,” Mumm said.

Akeson and other residents who oppose the project have said they have not decided whether or not to take legal action.

But they didn’t give up.

“I’m going to monitor the project and make sure it’s compliant,” Akeson said.


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