New state solar law protects farmland

New state solar law protects farmland

A new state law sets rules for putting up and taking down solar panels to make sure they don't hurt farm land. Governor Rauner signed the bill last week. It requires developers to pay to restore land if and when the solar panels are taken down.

Damage to farm land is a big reason some in Champaign County are against plans to add a 1,250-acre solar farm near Sidney. Many people have voiced concerns that  solar panels will ruin the prime farm land in central Illinois. 

Even before this law passed, Champaign County officials took that into consideration. They say their recommendations for solar rules go above and beyond what the new law requires for farm land preservation. 

The County Board is set to vote on whether to approve the solar zoning ordinance, which would govern local solar plants, August 23.