Lee County ZBA set to make recommendation on 5-megawatt solar facility

Meeting begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 10.

The proposed site layout plan for Pulse Solar II in Palmyra Township just outside Dixon city limits.

DIXON — The Lee County Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to make a recommendation Wednesday night regarding a proposed 5-megawatt commercial solar facility in Palmyra Township.

Ironwood Projects, a Louisiana-based company doing business in Illinois as Pulse Solar II LLC, is seeking a special use permit from Lee County to build the 5-megawatt facility on property adjacent to 464 Kilgore Road, Dixon.

“The prospect of providing Lee County with a long-term source of clean, sustainable energy is an exciting one, as is the opportunity to generate income for our landowner, offer ComEd customers the chance to subscribe to power at or below market rates, and increase the local tax base,” Ironwood Projects wrote in its special use permit application.

Pulse Solar II is proposed to cover 41.8 acres of a 57.8-acre lot and is expected to generate enough energy to power about 1,100 single-family homes annually, according to the permit application.

Roughly $4 million will be put into the local economy through spending on goods and services, labor, fuel and lodging, dining and other consumer resources, the permit states. Ironwood Projects expects 24 local jobs to be created during construction, which is anticipated to take three to four months.

“The chosen location for Pulse Solar II, LLC, was determined based on several factors, including proximity to relevant electrical and road infrastructure, slope and direction of the land, interest from the landowner, and the current zoning district and surrounding uses,” Ironwood Projects wrote. “The proposed project will have minimal impact on surrounding properties, which are predominantly zoned Ag-1 for agricultural uses.”

Wednesday’s ZBA meeting is set start at 7 p.m. The ZBA meets in the third-floor board room of the Old Lee County Courthouse, located at 112 E. Second St., Dixon. Interested parties also can attend the meetings via Zoom.

The Lee County ZBA met April 3 and 4 regarding the Pulse Solar II special use permit. Between the two meetings, almost five hours of evidence and public comment was heard. The full content of the meets can be viewed on Lee County’s YouTube channel.

For a more in-depth explanation on how zoning and the zoning ordinance process works, see Shaw Local’s article on the Lee County zoning process.

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Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.