The Pike County Board has passed an ordinance to allow solar farms to come to their county. Quincy’s WGEM reports that the board unanimously approved an ordinance that dictates how a solar farm could be set up in the county at their meeting on Monday. The ordinance lays out how a company can set up a solar farm and what guidelines they have to follow such as setbacks from property lines and height restrictions, as well as decommissioning equipment.
Many future solar farms have been predicted to sprout up across the state over the next two years. The fledgling solar energy boom is driven by the Future Energy Jobs Act, which took effect in 2017 and requires Illinois utilities to get 25 percent of their retail power from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. In April 2018, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved an update to the state’s plan for utilities to buy renewable energy credits. The plan includes a blueprint that specifies production by new large-scale solar farms, community solar gardens and rooftop solar installations to meet the state’s renewable energy goals.
The ordinance comes on the heels of a similar project that was place near Route 106 in 2018 by Illinois Electric Cooperative. The four acre, 500 kilowatt solar plant outside of Winchester consists of over 2200 solar panels. Several companies have solicited landowners in Scott and Pike County over the last two years for the growth of potential solar energy in the region.