Palo City Council formally disapproves NextEra request to put up solar panels

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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PALO, Iowa (KCRG) - The City of Palo denied a request to endorse an energy company that wants to put up solar panels around Palo - and outside Palo - to use land set aside for conservation.

NextEra Energy presented its proposal on Monday for the use of Linn County conservation land near the northwest side of Palo. NextEra representative Kimberly Dickey said the plan would add a 3,500-acre solar farm.

When the meeting opened up for public comment, a common concern centered on the impact of future growth opportunities and property values. Some community members said they were confused as to why NextEra would need Palo’s support to extend land into a different county, Benton County.

“They do not like the idea of alternating the use of conservation. It’s purchased for a reason and creating the use for solar energy is not what that land should be used for from a resident’s perspective,” said Sara Alden.

NextEra recently countered saying this project will help the economy through construction jobs and generating tax revenue that could go for schools or infrastructure.

Last month, Palo’s mayor said that the project would cut down on future growth for Palo.

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