Pockets of sunshine: Marshall County zoning panel OKs three more solar energy projects

Gary L. Smith | The Peoria Journal Star

LACON – Marshall County’s list of potential future solar energy installations continued to grow last week with Zoning Board of Appeals approval of three projects of the type being developed at numerous sites around central Illinois and elsewhere in the state.

The panel voted unanimously Thursday night to recommend that the County Board grant special use permits for two new projects in the Lacon and Sparland areas as well as expansion of an already permitted site outside Henry.

The new two-megawatt projects would be at the northeast edge of Lacon on land owned by Bill and Linda Klein and just west of Sparland on property owned by Mark and Karen Monier. The expansion just north of Henry would involve reconfiguring a proposed solar panel layout on land owned by Jerry Read to increase the capacity from 1.2 megawatt to the maximum two.

All three projects are being developed by Highland Park-based Trajectory Energy Partners LLC, which has been the dominant developer in the county. If all three get final approval from the County Board, the firm will have six in the county in line to apply for the state tax credits that will be a necessary financial ingredient.

Separately, Marshall County has also permitted a Toluca-area project by a different developer, and a third company’s project is expected to be permitted soon by the city of Lacon, bringing the county’s total to eight.

Early in the hearing, Trajectory managing partner Jon Carson called attention to recent legislative developments that have given more definite shape to the emerging solar industry in Illinois. The most important, he suggested, was the adoption of a statewide uniform assessment standard under which two-megawatt installations are expected to generate an average of about $15,000 a year in property taxes.

Read the entire article at The Peoria Journal Star.