Local

Woodstock City Council approves solar farm for Route 14 and Lily Pond road

A solar panel arm is photographed March 28 in McHenry.
A solar panel arm is photographed March 28 in McHenry.

The Woodstock City Council has approved plans for a solar farm at Route 14 and Lily Pond Road.

Borrego Solar Systems Inc. plans to build a 2-megawatt community solar farm on a 12-acre parcel of land at the northwest corner of Route 14 and Lily Pond Road, which is one of the main entryways to the city of Woodstock.

The solar panels will take up about 7.4 acres of the site and include 15 rows of 9-foot-tall panels. The developer will enclose the site with a 7-foot-tall chain link security fence, according to city documents.

Clusters of trees are proposed at areas along the outside of the proposed fence, according to city documents.

The life of the facility spans between 20 and 40 years. Borrego has a decommission plan in place to ensure the site will be restored once the solar farm no longer is in operation, according to city documents.

The facility will gather solar energy and distribute it onto the ComEd grid, which means anyone who uses ComEd will have a chance to subscribe to the community solar program and save on the cost of electricity.

Property value on the site also will rise, leading to an increase of revenue to the city.

“It will be significant,” said City Manager Roscoe Stelford. “Agriculture gets a huge discount.”

The parcel had a total assessment value of $2,055 in 2018, according to Dorr Township reports. State legislators have mandated that assessors value commercial solar farms at $218,000 a megawatt.

Council member Mike Turner said he supported the project, but warned the site must be well maintained.

“This should not ever be allowed to become rundown,” he said.

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