A multi-million dollar solar energy farm may soon be coming to Beardstown’s southern drainage district. Kansas City-based Savion Energy Company representative Courtney Timmons, development director of the project, introduced himself to the Cass County Board last night and gave some general parameters for the costs and scale of the solar farm: “The project that we’re working on in Cass County is approximately 150 megawatts. The capital investment that is expected out of that is about $150 million. We have a lot more details to follow up on here. We’re very excited to be here in Cass County to be working with all of you. We are very hopeful to be submitting our conditional use permit application sometime in February.”
Cass County Chairman Michael Barnett says that there are some details that still need to be gone through before the project gets approved. “We’ve had numerous meetings on this issue. The last one was with the 3 drainage commissioners of the South Beardstown Drainage District. Savion presented an outline on how the solar panels would look. The drainage commissioners had some concerns about the offsets to the drainage canals. I think Savion and the commissioners have gotten many of those issues solved. Once those are solved, I think this project will be on the fast track to being completed. Savion has met with the Beardstown road commissioners on Monday, and it was concerning issues revolving around the offsets. I think it’s all on the fast track at the present time.”
The project has been in the works since 2018, as Savion has asked for easements and discussed with landowners about the size and setbacks from the project. Timmons said that Savion is currently looking at ways to mitigate any issues stemming from flooding that normally happens in the drainage district. He says that Savion engineers are still working on designs for placement so that it will have a minimal effect on landowners as well as to the local drainage ditches and flood plain. Timmons said designs are likely to come before the Cass County Plans Commission sometime in February.