Commissioners approve solar farm to be built west of Elgin

With no concerns about ice sling or damage to county roads as part of the construction process, it took just over an hour for the Antelope County Board of Commissioners to approve a new solar farm.
Meeting Tuesday, Jan. 14, Commissioners Dean Smith, Regina Krebs, Carolyn Pedersen, Charlie Henery and Eli Jacob all voted to approve a conditional use permit (CUP) for Elkhorn Solar LLC, based out of Geneva, Ill. The solar farm will be located on 160 acres south of the southeast corner of Highway 70 and 516 Street west of Elgin. Only 13 to 15 acres will be used for the solar farm. The CUP was recommended for approval following a public hearing by the Antelope County Planning Commission several weeks ago.
Patrick Dalseth, regional director for SunVest, developer of the solar farm, said the solar farm to be located west of Elgin is part of a project which will also include two solar farms in Madison County. Together they will have a total generation capacity of 6.5MWac. The Elgin farm will have approximately 4,100 solar panels, he said, each producing 365 watts of electricity. The farm is expected to produce 1.5 MWac which will be used locally by being interconnected at strategic locations on the ERPPD distribution network.
In his presentation, Dalseth said the projected start date for construction is May. Materials for the solar farm would be transported to the site for the first two weeks. After that, the only traffic would be workers. Altogether, he said 30 workers would be at the farm during the 12-14 weeks of construction.