Spring Valley approves solar farm request

Solar project could generate $941,000 in property tax revenue over four decades

Five candidates are vying for the opportunity to work at Spring Valley City Hall (seen here) as its next mayor.

A 40-acre solar farm on the northwest edge of Spring Valley, just south of the Walmart Distribution Center, was given approval to proceed Monday by the Spring Valley City Council.

A representative from Cultivate Power said the project will generate $941,000 in property tax revenue over 40 years for Spring Valley, compared to the $160,000 if the property were undeveloped. The representative also said, however, the solar farm may not reach its 40-year life expectancy, noting 25 to 30 years is a more reasonable estimation of how long it will generate power.

Cultivate Power is planning to build a five megawatt solar farm that will be interconnected with the Ameren Illinois grid and power an estimated 1,100 homes annually. The community solar project will allow residents the ability to buy a subscription that supports the solar farm. The company still is working on finalizing an agreement with the property owner to utilize the land for the solar farm.

The solar company will be responsible for decommissioning panels when its life is exhausted, and the company offered to post a bond with the city of Spring Valley to ensure it will do so.

The solar project will be built with a 7-foot chain-linked fence around its perimeter with landscaping as a further buffer. Vegetation that attracts pollinators will be grown within the solar farm as well. The project also will be constructed with minimal concrete, a representative said.

The City Council voted 6-1 in favor of granting the special use permit for the project with Alderman Chris Affelt providing the lone dissenting vote. He did not offer any further comment on his vote after the meeting Monday, saying the project had passed and he was content with accepting the will of the council. The city’s plan commission had recommended the project.