Village of Sidney Board of Trustees met April 25.
Village of Sidney Board of Trustees met May 25.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
The Sidney Village Board met on the above date for a special public meeting held at the Sidney Fire Department. President White called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. After the Pledge of Allegiance. The following trustees were present: Arrasmith, Bickers, McCloud, Schluter, and Roberts. Supervisor of Operations Bennett, Attorney Miller, and Clerk Moore were also present. Trustees Finn was absent.
The special meeting was held so that the public could ask questions about the proposed solar farm close to Sidney. Patrick Brown, a representative from BayWa r.e., the company proposing to build the solar farm, and Patrick Fitzgerald, attorney for the company, were present.
President White explained the procedure for the meeting: the questioner would come in front and present his/her question and then one of the BayWa representatives would respond.
Patrick Brown presented a media presentation of the project, Prairie Solar, and passed out literature. An act for renewable energy was passed by the State of Illinois in June 2017. BayWa has changed the plan as previously presented and has pulled acreage away from the Village and the houses within the proposed development. He posted a map of the new plan. They will start the process in 2020 and it will be operational in June 2021. It is a $200 million project. Attorney Fitzgerald passed out sheets with the anticipated taxes.
Have you dropped the west part of the planned acreage?
Q: Are there any assurances that you will not include this acreage at a later date?
A;; No guarantees but this is one project, no phases.
Q: Will you sell it to some business?
A: We stay and operate. We sell it as an equity investment.
Q: How many feet are the setbacks for the houses?
A: Several hundred feet. Can provide this information later
Q: Will the noise be less than 35 dbi as suggested.
A: I can't say that. A noise study was done and there were no noise problems. Won't agree to an arbitrary number
Q: Can the Village tie in for solar energy?
A: Wholesale buyers might, like the University of Illinois or Frito-Lay.
Q: Will there be locals hired for construction?
A: Yes, if qualified
Q: Afterwards, will local people be hired?
A: Yes, if qualified
Q: How did the taxes get figured?
A: We expect that the state will have similar laws as for windmills.
Q: To clarify, all the acreage on the west side of the Longview-Sidney road has been deleted?
Q: Is there any help for people who are surrounded?
A: There will be an investment in Sidney and the township will receive more taxes.
Q: Might you not used cheaper products to save costs, which means more noise?
A: Have to use all tier one products because this has to last 35 years.
Q: What if the company goes bankrupt?
A: Other companies will be happy to buy it at a low cost. The decommissioning is taken care of.
Q: Won't we lost a tax base?
A: The property owners whose property is leased will still pay a property tax so no loss.
Q: How will this affect our property value?
A: Haven't found any evidence that there is any effect.
Q: Has there been any feedback from others?
A: This information has been provided to the county.
Q: Will the real estate taxes by affected?
Q: Will the Village of Sidney be affected?
Q: What is the largest BayWa project?
A: 45 megawatts. Eight of these are in development.
Q: BayWa: How long has it been in the United States?
A: Four years in solar, eight years in wind
Q: The tiles are mostly clay and are being upgraded to plastic. Are we going to be blocked off from replacing them?
A: There will be easements to the drainage districts.
Q: At the Zoning Board Authority, you said that the project has a life of 35 years but there is a 40 year lease.
A: We will lease for 25 years and then have options every five years for the next 15.
Q: Solar production: how does Illinois compare to the desert?
A: Desert has a value of 10, Illinois, 6.
Q: How did you make the breakdown of taxes?
A: We took middle of the road.
Q: What do you do if you hit old tile?
A: We will use radar and find them first. We have a legal obligation to maintain the tiles.
Q: Isn't there more efficiency for the panels to face south?
A: Here there is more efficiency from east to west.
Q: Are you sure valuations won't go down?
A: I can't say for certain. We do have studies showing no problem. Since 2007 we have not seen any devaluation.
Q: If there is no noise, why resist a limit?
A: Don't want arbitrary numbers. There will be a complaint process.
Q: Class A is a big truck.
A: I should have said no oversized trucks.
Q: How many solar farms are pending in Illinois?
A: The SICA web site will tell you but there is a lot. That doesn't mean that they will all be built.
Q: Who sponsors the bills?
A: One has been sent back to Rules. Attorney Fitzgerald will get the information on this.
Q: You said that the school district would not gain any children.
A: I meant that there are no children on the solar farm site.
Q: Are the homeowners satisfied ;with the increased setbacks that are three times as big?
A: They just heard of it tonight.
Q: What is the solar farm tax?
A: Amortized over 25 years. 4% CPI adjustment. Low inflationary, higher CPI
Q: Explain more about the taxes.
A: At the state level, can never go beyond 30%. Same for solar farms. Will pay by the megahertz
Q: How many acres are in this option?
A: 1200 plus 300 more for a total of 1500
Q: How much FIJA money?
A: Fully funded by BayWa r.e.
Q: Will there be a shield if there's a glare?
A: There will be a glare analysis. A person will come out and look at points of interest.
Q: How many panels per megawatt?
A: 599,292. 350 watt modules
Q: What is the weight of a panel?
A: It's a tier one panel.
Q: Will the panels be recycled or go to a landfill?
A: Recycled at salvage value
Q: Is there any recycling company that will accept them?
A: No answer
Q: How far is the setback from the first inverter?
A: Doesn't know yet but will let you know later
Q: Will you be willing to pay these amounts even if the State of Illinois doesn't tax you?
A: I would have to nail this down for investors.
Q: How long will you be here, Mr. Brown?
A: Until construction is done and operating unless I'm no longer with the company.
President White closed the meeting at 9:35 p.m., 35 minutes beyond its posted ending time.