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Linn County Board of Supervisors approves Coggon Solar Project 2-1

The project will turn 640 acres of agricultural farmland into a Solar Farm.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 9:52 PM CST
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CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Board of Supervisors approved the Coggon Solar Project 2-1 Monday night.

“It’s a great opportunity for Linn County in the state of Iowa to continue on the energy transition and really to be able to pass something good on to the next generation,” said Jared McKee, Vice President of Business Development for Calnera, the parent company of Coggon Solar L.L.C0.

The project will turn 640 acres of agricultural farmland into a Solar Farm. The farm will supply more than 18,000 Iowa homes with energy for 20 years, allowing the energy to then be sold for the remaining 15 years of the project.

The board did approve changes from the original proposal. The neighbors will be given a 300-foot clearance from the solar farm rather than 50. Coggon Solar L.L.C will also be required to add trees or shrubs to block neighbors’ views of the solar farm.

“Screening shall consist of evergreen or shrub species, with preference given to native species,” said Board Member Ben Rogers.

The board did not vote to approve of the neighbors receiving compensation for potential loss to property value.

Supervisor Louis Zumbach disagreed with the board’s decision to not approve this measure.

Zumbach questioned McKee and his company’s opposition to the compensation for potential loss to property value.

“So if there is no devaluation. So if that’s true, this shouldn’t bother you at all. But you’re certainly fine with leaving the unknown upon the property owner,” said Zumbach to Mckee.

After 35 years the solar farm will be taken down and converted back to agricultural farmland. Although many left the meeting in frustration, some are ready for what they called the next evolution of farming in Iowa.

“It’ll be good jobs for people that will build it, install it, maintain it. Second, it’s good for the environment,” said Brad Gerhard, a supporter of the Coggon Solar Project.

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