GREENBUSH TWP, Mich. (WLNS) – Plans for a solar farm are in the works in Clinton County and some people who live nearby aren’t happy about the idea.
It’s a similar story around mid-Michigan, with proposed solar farms in Livingston and Ingham County. This latest facility is planned for Greenbush Township, just north of St. Johns.
On Tuesday, Clinton County Commissioners unanimously passed a zoning permit for a 93-acre solar farm.
It’ll make the empty plot of farmland between East Silvers and East Colony Road and East of North Scott Road.
Officials said the proposal was first mentioned about six months ago and it’s faced resistance from the community ever since. But last week, the plan got a ‘yes’ vote from all county commissioners.
“It was hard to believe it did because from what I understood most of the neighbors around here don’t want it,” seven-year resident of Greenbush Township Sandra Wing said.
Board Commission Chairperson Robert Showers said members wanted to meet the needs of both parties.
“Based upon their recommendations and the conditions that the solar ray company said they would meet, I think it was a six-zero vote for that,” Showers said.
And even though there was a lot of opposition, Showers said the requirements were met by the developer.
“But we are guided by what the law says,” he continued. “Which is a good thing.”
Most people 6 News spoke with said they don’t oppose solar energy; they just don’t want it in their backyard.
“I’m in favor of green energy, I have nothing against it,” Wing said. “But not right in a community where there’s a lot of houses and stuff. I think it should be more isolated out away from things.”
They don’t want it to take up the land that could be used by farmers. And they add that they like seeing the open country views.
“I don’t like the idea of looking out my windows and just seeing solar panels for one thing. I have a lot of deer and they come up in my yard because I have an apple tree and they bring the fawns up and I love watching them,” she said.
Officials said one of the requirements is to have pine trees planted so it blocks what some people may call an ‘eyesore.’
“But eventually, when these spruce trees or pine trees grow, you won’t be able to see it any further,” Showers said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the Fall and should be up and running by the end of 2024.