Cass County residents hear details about solar farm project

Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 11:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In January, developers brought Cass County a proposal to install one of the largest projects for solar power in Nebraska.

At Monday’s planning meeting at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Weeping Water, residents who fall within a mile of the proposed area were encouraged to attend the county zoning meeting, where developers and others presented details and answered questions. about what a 320 Megahertz solar farm might look like.

In August, Cass County approved a zoning plan embracing the future, including alternative energy like solar, to make small projects possible for landowners and businesses.

”We had not anticipated something 3,000 acres, and the positive or negative effects it may or may not have on neighboring property owners,” said Michael Jensen, Department of Zoning administrator for Cass County. “So we need to look at this very closely.”

The proposal would put more than 2,000 acres of solar panels over a 3,200-acre swath of property, mostly farmland, within an area with access to the OPPD Cass County Power Station, which would provide as the conduit for the generated solar energy to reach the power grid.

Cass County solar farm proposal
Cass County solar farm proposal(Brent Weber)

Some landowners have already signed on, though they are bound by confidentiality agreements not to release details of their leases with the developers.

”Each individual landowner, its completely up to them whether they want to participate in this or not,” Jensen said. “There’s a lease involved and that lease is for a period of as much as 25 years, so this is a very good commitment for a very long time.”

The public hearing was one of the first steps in the process of bringing the project to reality. If they gain ultimate approval, developers say installation could begin as early as late 2023, with power flowing to the grid by 2025.

Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.