The Kankakee County Board (Tuesday) voted 18-7 against a proposed solar project. The project was unsettling to neighbors in the Bonfield and Herscher areas, who favor their own scenery. Some in attendance said they prefer their own view and don’t want the solar panels surrounding their property.
Supporters argue, we don’t get the luxury of specific scenery. One woman said she’d like to see a park or a lake but instead she has to look at a farm field.
Board Chairman Andy Wheeler said he can appreciate the property owners preference, but also says judgement should be based on facts, not on how people feel.
Wheeler said over several hearings, the county has voted down 4-5 sites while 55 have been approved.
The county’s zoning board last month rejected Lehigh Solar’s application to set up solar panels on 39 acres. But then, county board committee recommended approval, saying the county already had approved similar projects.
Consistent decisions seemed to be the consensus of zoning officials.
Kankakee County has drawn a lot of interest from solar companies. Renewable energy credits will be chosen in a state lottery. State officials say the number of applicants is many times larger than the amount of money available. So it’s likely most of the approved solar farms will not happen.