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Local

Hearings for 3 solar projects in DeKalb County scheduled Thursday

Scott Novack (left) demonstrates with his laptop how the solar panels move depending on the position of the sun at different parts of the day, like the panels being flat at noon, during a DeKalb County public hearing Aug. 16, at the county's administrative building in Sycamore.
Scott Novack (left) demonstrates with his laptop how the solar panels move depending on the position of the sun at different parts of the day, like the panels being flat at noon, during a DeKalb County public hearing Aug. 16, at the county's administrative building in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – A public hearing officer will decide during hearings Thursday whether to recommend approval for special use permits regarding three more solar garden projects proposals.

Cenergy Power submitted applications for two separate 2-megawatt solar energy projects on a 155-acre property on the southwest corner of the intersection of Pine Road and Gov. Beveridge Highway in Somonauk Township.

Cypress Creek Renewables is looking to develop a 2-megawatt, 25.3–acre solar farm on property on the northwest corner of the intersection of Lucas and Twombly roads in Malta Township.

Scott Novack, senior developer for Cypress Creek Renewables, said the Malta Township project is a community solar garden that could power between 300 and 400 homes. He said it’s the third project that will have come before a DeKalb County hearing officer – and a fourth will be coming soon.

Novack said every project receiving approval in Illinois is still subject to state approval. He said the selection process through the new state solar power program is set for sometime in the first quarter of next year.

“The date and mechanics are still being worked out,” Novack said.

Chad Chahbazi, project management director for Cenergy Power, said the two proposed projects in Somonauk Township also are community solar gardens. He said it’s the first project the California-based company is bringing before DeKalb County, but it will submit an additional six projects for county approval.

Chahbazi said the company is working to get approved locations for other solar energy projects throughout northern Illinois because of the new state program. He said DeKalb County officials have been helpful and have answered whatever questions he and his staff have had.

“Overall, it’s been a very pleasant experience,” Chahbazi said.

While there aren’t any geographic limits to how many solar projects can exist in one region or county, Novack said, an interconnection process will help determine how many projects can be on the same feeder, distribution line or be serviced by the same substation, so the projects don’t overload the power grid.

The hearing for the two Cenergy Power projects is scheduled for
1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Administration Building’s Conference Room East, 110 E. Sycamore St.

The hearing for the Cypress Creek project is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the same place.

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