Ranger Power works to bring Nebraska’s largest solar farm to eastern Lancaster County
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Progress has been made to bring Nebraska’s largest solar farm to eastern Lancaster County.
The project just received a special permit to allow construction of the solar farm, but has another hurdle to get over before breaking ground.
The solar farm will stretch from O Street to Havelock, and from 120th to 190th Streets in east Lincoln, an area of about five square miles. Construction is estimated to start in 2023, but there’s still work to be done before building the solar farm.
Ranger Power said the farm will produce 250 megawatts of power, which means it could power between 35,000 to 40,000 Nebraska homes. But before they can produce the power, they need to find someone to buy it.
“We think there’s certainly the appetite in the market for the power this project will generate, but that is still a key component of the project we need to secure,” said Sean Harris with Ranger Power.
Harris said a project like this has a lot of economic and environmental benefits as it lowers carbon dioxide emissions.
The county said the Salt Creek Solar Project could bring in close to $1 million annually in tax revenue.
Harris said the project is also a gateway to new business.
“A lot of new companies when looking to locate new locations for large data centers or industrial uses will often times look for renewable sources to power those new facilities,” Harris said . “So in addition to the direct project benefits it also is kind of an attractive factor in bringing in additional business into the state.”
Until they solidify a buyer, Harris said Ranger Power is working on developing site plans for the $230 million project so they can proceed with getting the rest of the required permits.
He’s hopeful to start construction in 2023 following harvest season.
“We wouldn’t be at this point if we didn’t have land owners that were interested in participating in this project so that’s a huge element of it,” Harris said.
Once construction of the solar farm starts, Harris said it will create more than 300 jobs. The approval did come with one amendment. No panels within 450 of a residence.
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