SOLAR FARM PROPOSALS
Proposed solar farms in unincorporated McHenry County, Illinois
A wave of applications for conditional use permits for solar farms have come to McHenry County, mostly in the unincorporated territory, but also within municipalities.
The first solar farm firm met with County Zoning officials in June of 2017 just as the Future Energy Jobs Act became effective. According to the Energy Law Report (May 2017):
"The Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814) was enacted into law on December 7, 2016, as Public Act 99-0906, with an effective date of June 1, 2017 (the “Act”). The Act calls for updates to Illinois’ renewable portfolio standards, net metering, and energy efficiency standards, as well as a new zero emissions credits plan. Under the Act, the Illinois Power Agency (the “IPA”) is charged with developing various plans and the utilities are charged with collecting and distributing funds and entering in to contracts for the procurement of emissions credits. This summary is focused on the Renewable Portfolio Standard, the Initial Forward Procurement, the Long Term Procurement Plan, the Zero Emissions Standard, and Net Metering. The Act also includes significant energy efficiency, job creation, and training provisions... "
The first application for a solar farm was submitted to the County in February 2018 and reached the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at the beginning of April 2018. As of mid-April 2019 the County has received 31 petitions for solar farms. Twenty-five have been approved by the County Board; two were withdrawn; and four were denied.
10th of April, 2019 Update — The Illinois Power Agency has awarded, through a lottery, the approved vendors accepted for the Adjustable Block Program. Click here for a list of the five vendors that have been approved in unincorporated McHenry County. Click here for a locater map of these five sites. Click here for the approved / waiting list awardees for the entire state.. (Note: All McHenry County vendors will be listed in the "Group B Community Solar" table, as the county is within ComEd's distribution territory.)
Click here for the McHenry County list of the pending applications and results of finalized applications. The list indicates where the properties are located and has links to the ZBA hearing agendas/minutes, which contain site plans of the solar farms in unincorporated McHenry County. Those vendors receiving State awards are also annotated. Click here to view a locator map of proposed solar farms in unincorporated McHenry County.
Here is a photograph of a typical solar farm installation——
Below follows a list of solar farm-related links——
- County Zoning Regulations pertaining to solar farms
- Filing of Zoning Petitions
- Site Plan Administrative Review Procedures and Meeting Dates
- Illinois Public Act 99-0906 regarding the Illinois Power Agency and Renewable Energy Resources
- Adjustable Block Program (Illinois Power Agency) — the State program to distribute Renewable Energy Credits to solar electric generation vendors.
- Illinois Renewable Energy Resources Program Report (2016)
- Future Jobs Energy Act information (sponsored by utility companies)
- Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement info (Ill. Department of Agriculture)
- Municipalities that have known solar farm project proposals——
- Bull Valley
- 880 Feinberg Drive
- Lake in the Hills
- Peterson Farm Park
- South of O'Cock Road
Below follows a list of solar farm power companies that have submitted applications or inquiries——
- Bap Power Corporation (see Cenergy)
- Borrego Solar Systems
- Cenergy Power
- Cypress Creek Renewables
- FFP IL Community Solar (see Forefront Power)
- Forefront Power
- Geronimo Energy
- IPS Solar / Innovative Power Systems
- Nexamp Solar Energy
- NextEra Energy
- One Energy Renewables
- SolAmerica Energy
- SolarStone Illinois
- Syncarpha Community Solar
- Wolcott Energy Group