A special use permit that would allow Huntley School District 158 to set up solar panels on about 8 acres of land at its Harmony Road campus was unanimously approved by the Huntley Village Board on Thursday.
The board also approved text amendments related to solar energy systems to make the project possible.
The changes were recommended to the board by a 6-0 vote during the Huntley Plan Commission’s Monday meeting. During the public hearing for the project, two residents voiced their support for the proposal while another raised several concerns.
The maximum height of the solar energy system is not to exceed 12 feet, and perimeter fencing would have a maximum height of 8 feet. Although perimeter fencing and landscaping were a concern to some trustees, the ordinance was approved as presented.
If the system is out of service or not producing energy for a period of 12 months, it will be deemed nonoperational, and a decommissioning procedure would commence. Panels are monitored in real time, so a replacement, if needed, could be installed the next day.
Similar solar arrays also are in the works at the district’s other two campuses in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.
District 158 Superintendent Scott Rowe said that he believes the project will spark conversations about innovation and technology advancement, which he enjoys having at the schools.
The board also heard a conceptual review of a plan to build an addition of about 46,800 square feet to Thermoform Engineered Quality’s 84,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility at the corner of Main and Bakley streets.
The addition to the building’s warehouse will extend north from the existing building and include two additional loading dock bays. The expansion is expected to add 30 to 40 more employees, Huntley Director of Development Services Charles Nordman said.
Although the project was not formally approved, the board reached a consensus to allow mass grading at the site at the company’s risk.
TEQ President Randy Loga said not starting the process in the fall would be disastrous for the project as the company already has purchased equipment for the job.
The petition is scheduled to be formally reviewed by the Plan Commission on Oct. 8 and by the Village Board on Oct. 11.