Fourth Solar Energy Farm Moving Forward in McLean County, To Power 400+ Homes

Renewable Energy Real Estate
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The developer of three planned solar farms is one step closer to adding a fourth project in McLean County.

The county’s Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved Cypress Creek Renewables’ (CCR) application to build a 2-megawatt solar project in South Bloomington Tuesday night.

ZBA members also added stipulations to CCR’s special use permit application, adopting staff’s recommendations for the project.

County officials approved three similar Cypress Creek developments in February.

The developer’s latest project, Breezewood Solar LLC, is cited on about 25 acres of land south of Margaret Street and west of South Main Street.

The full County Board will consider the project at its next meeting.

If approved, the project would bring CCR’s total solar production capacity to 6 megawatts in McLean County, with an expected annual energy output capable of generating enough power for 1,200 -1,600 single family homes.

The company says the power generated from the developments will be sold to Ameren and used by customers to replace energy from non-renewable sources.

An interactive map shows the locations and expected economic impacts of each development in McLean County:

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Rewind: AdaptBN spoke with representatives from CCR in January about the developer’s plans for expansion in McLean County and beyond.

Jeff McKay, CCR Director of Public Relations, said the company is looking to expand operations from 12 to 20 states, with several developments currently in the works in Illinois.

“We think it’s a great way to bring widespread access to clean, affordable energy to the residents,” said McKay. “[Illinois] has a healthy appetite to bring in some clean energy into the grid, meaning that solar energy is probably the cheapest form available.”

McKay explained most states including Illinois now mandate that large utility companies like Ameren do their best to add affordable renewable energy to the power grid where available.

“We go where the grid availability is, and McLean County is certainly ripe with opportunity,” said CCR Senior Developer Scott Novak. He added the state’s Future Energy Jobs Bill, passed in the summer of 2017, has helped make solar components more affordable for developers. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to build here.”

What’s Next: The next County Board meeting will be 9 a.m. May 15 in Room 400 of the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St., Bloomington.