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Local

$31 million solar farm coming to Bureau County

PRINCETON – The Bureau County Board approved conditional-use permits for a $31 million solar farm electric generating facility to be built in the northwestern part of the county, near New Bedford.

Hoover Solar LLC will be built on 313 acres on the east side of 300 East St., a quarter mile south of 3000 North Ave.

It will be Bureau County’s first solar farm.

The facility will produce about 17 megawatts of electricity a year, enough to power more than 5,700 homes, and generate about $120,000 in taxes a year, said Matt Kauffman of Tiskilwa, who represents Cypress Creek Renewables of Santa Monica, California.

The company has developed solar farms in 10 states and is one of the largest developers of solar farms in Illinois, Kauffman said.

Cypress Creek also has proposed building a 20 megawatt solar energy farm on 200 acres of land south of Town Line Road, near Forreston, pending licensing approval from the Ogle County Board.

That project has met with resistance and on Nov. 20, the Village Board voted 4 to 2 not to recommend the project for approval to the Ogle County Board.

Neighbors have voiced concerns at public meetings about the village not getting a share of the tax revenue from the farm, taking farmland out of production, noise from the farm, and possible affects on nearby property values.

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