Yorkville City Council approves third solar farm development

Development will be located on city’s north side

Yorkville City Council members approved the annexation, rezoning and special use permitting of a 35-acre solar farm development on the north side of the city at their May 14 meeting.

The community solar farm known as Corneils Road Solar, LLC, will be constructed north of Corneils Road between Beecher Road and Route 47, just west of Rob Roy Creek, which was previously in unincorporated Kendall County.

Site map for the proposed Corneils Road Solar, LLC, a community solar farm just north of Yorkville city limits.

The array will be developed by Chicago-based solar company Nexamp, which will also operate the development once constructed.

Three agricultural parcels, a total of 94-acres owned by Gary and Betty Bennett, were annexed and rezoned from R-1 Single-Family Residential to A-1 Agricultural District, and the petitioner was granted a special use permit to construct the solar farm.

The annexation agreement, special use permitting and rezoning were all approved in separate split votes. Alderman Seaver Tarulis voted “nay” for all three, and Alderman Chris Funkhouser voted “nay” for the special use permitting.

The 5-megawatt solar farm development will construct 11,592 panels and a freestanding commercial solar collector systems on the property. The system will include a lithium battery storage system, two central inverters and one to two transformers mounted on a cement pad.

The solar panels will not exceed a height of 20 feet and the entire solar array and accessory systems will be enclosed in an 8-feet-tall, slatted chain-link fence. The site will be accessed via Corneils Road through an existing gravel driveway, which developers will improve and connect to the solar farm.

Developers will construct an underground interconnection system with several above ground poles to connect to the ComEd distribution line on Corneils Road.

The property has an existing farm homestead and accessory buildings which will remain on the site.

Developers have entered into a 20-year lease agreement with the property owners to operate the solar farm, with the option to extend the lease term for one 10-year term and up to two additional five-year terms.

This is the third solar farm approved in the last six months, with the first approved last October and the second in December. All three were approved in split votes.

In October, the council approved a special use permit for Colorado-based Turning Point Energy to construct a 14,000 panel solar farm in the Bristol Ridge area. The 5-megawatt facility will occupy a 54-acre site on the east side of Cannonball Trail along the north side of the BNSF Railway.

In December, the council approved another special use permit for Massachusetts-based developer New Leaf Energy to construct a 9,700 panel solar farm on an 18.5-acre lot east of Beecher Road just north of the BNSF Rail Road on the northwest side of the city.