A large solar farm development approximately two miles north of Eagle Lake has been given the green light, but not without some pushback and added conditions for the project from the Blue Earth County Board.

The issue was tabled in June after nearby property owners expressed concern with the development at the corner of 604th Avenue and 223rd Street. A revised plan was submitted this week to address the setback of the solar farm and measures to block the view of the solar panels.

The development falls within Commissioner Kip Bruender’s district and says landowners saw positive progress towards some compromise on the project.

“It actually got pushed back about 460-feet. Before it was right up next to the road within the setback. So this pushed it back 460-feet, the original plan did not have any dogwoods (trees) or any sort of vegetation barrier around it. Which is relatively important. It moves it a little bit further to the south also, not a whole lot. But it does get it away from the road. That was the biggest concern. It’s right out a couple peoples windows and they have another one right behind them.”

The surrounding landowners expressed that they would prefer to not see the development by FastSun 14, LLC, but the County Board approved the conditional use permit for the site along with thirteen extra conditions for the project proposed by Bruender.

“They did have a permit to put one not about 200-feet further to the east of this one that they already have a permit for. So, we had to work around that a little bit too. So I think the landowners would have just soon see it go to the north of the solar array that’s already there. But as I said earlier in the meeting, that’s just not an option, that just doesn’t work.”

The eight-acre sight has a power capacity up to one-megawatt and it is expected to be up and running by the end of 2020.

This map shows the original site plan for the solar development. The setback was pushed 460-feet to the east of this proposal.