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State News

Northern Illinois Residents Oppose Solar Farms

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ROCKFORD - A petition signed by 400 northern Illinois residents opposes special-use permits that would allow the development of four proposed solar farms.

The Rockford Register Star reports that the proposed solar farms in Ogle County would be built near residents' homes and take nearly 330 acres of farmland out of agricultural production for several years.

Ogle County Board member Dan James says a special-permit doesn't guarantee a solar farm will be constructed. The Illinois Power Agency must also approve the developments.

A limited number of solar farms will be approved as part of the state agency's procurement program.

The push for solar farms comes as developers try to take advantage of tax incentives, rebates and a new state mandate that requires Illinois utilities generate at least 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025.