OPINION: Not all proposed solar farms should be dismissed

Dear Editor,

The concerned citizens near Stillman Valley that Ron Kern referred to (News-Leader, Tuesday, Nov. 27) reacted to proposals for three solar projects concentrated in an area on the east end of Hales Corner Road near or adjacent to their homes in east Marion Township and west Scott Township.

One is a large 20 MW “solar farm” on 148 acres; the other two are smaller 4 MW “Community Solar” projects. Their objections were taken to county board members and resulted in the county-wide moratorium on solar projects. 

The concerns of this area just northwest of Stillman Valley blocked processing of solar projects throughout the county, even in areas where there is no opposition.

Their strategy is to fight all solar projects under the belief that if one project is approved, they will all be approved. That is a misunderstanding of the zoning process where each project is assigned its own number and is considered separately.

I have proposed a 2 MW project along S. Kishwaukee Road between a flood plain on the south and a railroad and township road on the north. It is the smallest “Community Solar” project a company will do, almost a demonstration project. This group from 2 to 4 miles away objected to that project also, claiming that any project in the township will affect the value of their property, even if they can’t see it from anywhere near their property.

When a landowner has to get permission from people that live miles away to participate in a program being promoted by the state, that is zoning run amuck and is an example why more than 30 counties don’t have zoning.

Curt Freeberg


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