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Marengo City Council to hear solar farm proposal

Several requests that would allow construction of a 15.5-acre ground-mounted solar energy system on a 95-acre parcel of land southeast of Greenlee Street will be up for consideration during Monday’s Marengo City Council meeting.

The first agenda item related to the project will be a zoning text amendment to allow the installation of a solar energy system within the zoned district.

The next item would be a special use permit request for the project.

The council also will vote to authorize a development agreement with the project’s petitioner, SolAmerica Energy LLC.

As part of the agreement, the Atlanta-based solar developer would make a $200,000 contribution to the city to be used for community betterment projects such as infrastructure improvements.

The requests would require council approval by Monday to be eligible for a 2019 lottery for state community solar projects, according to city documents.

Smaller community solar projects may be eligible to apply for Illinois’ Adjustable Block Program, which would offer a set price for the purchase of renewable energy credits via 15-year contracts from qualifying projects.

Applications for the program initially were supposed to open Tuesday, but the deadline was postponed to allow time to refine renewable energy contracts between approved solar vendors and utilities, according to a news release from the Illinois Power Agency.

Once applications are open for 14 days, the Illinois Power Agency will evaluate the number of proposals and determine whether a lottery will be necessary to determine which projects are funded first.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 132 E. Prairie St.

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