Solar farm could be coming to Elgin's west side
A solar farm could be the solution to a long-empty parcel of land on Elgin's west side.
Elgin's planning and zoning commission has endorsed plans for Mid-America Green Energy to build a 4.5-megawatt solar farm at the southwest corner of Bowes and Nolan roads. The proposal now goes to the city council for a final vote.
The 30.6-acre property at 3451 Bowes Road, a couple of miles west of Randall Road, was annexed by the city in 2003 and approved for single-family homes. But development plans never materialized, and the property has remained vacant and used for agricultural purposes ever since, said Damir Latinovic, a senior planner with the city.
If approved, the solar farm will consist of 12,458 modules on ground-mounted solar panels that will connect directly to existing ComEd power lines adjacent to the south.
The developer will build an 8-foot-tall composite fence and a landscaper buffer around the farm to screen them from the view of adjacent properties.
The plan also includes a 10-foot-wide walking and bike path along Bowes Road.
Per the proposal, Mid-America Green Energy would purchase the land after approval processes by both the city and ComEd.
Peter Bazos of Bowes Center LLC, the group that has owned the property since 2005, spoke during Monday's meeting about the challenges they've faced developing the property.
"It's a very difficult site," Bazos said, noting the lot's irregular shape and proximity to a railroad track and high-tension power lines. "We think this is an amazingly appropriate use for this site."