Next Era Energy says it doesn’t have the power to use eminent domain to build solar farm

Published: May. 1, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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(KCRG) - Next Era Energy says it doesn’t have the power of eminent domain and doesn’t plan to seek it out when building a solar farm around the now shut down nuclear plant in Palo.

Florida-based NextEra-which owns the Duane Arnold Energy Center-wants to expand the property to install three solar arrays.

Last week, KCRG-TV9 talked to multiple landowners who were scared of losing their homes to the project.

But NextEra says it will not force anyone to sell or move off their land. It will only look at voluntary acquisition, meaning: no one will be forced to sell or move.

A company spokesperson says early conversations with landowners make them confident they can complete the project that way.

“We’ve gotten a lot of enthusiasm so far and these are private lease agreements with landowners,” said Bryan Garner of Next Era Energy. “In many cases, these lease agreements allow them to enhance their incomes so they can invest that money elsewhere in their farm, their family business.”

The project is still in its early stages with no exact location yet. It’s not expected to be completed until 2023.

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