100,000-panel solar farm near approval in Central Illinois

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WASHBURN, Ill. (AP) — A solar energy project proposed in central Illinois would use some 100,000 solar panels and have the capacity to power the equivalent of 10,000 homes, officials say.

The 35-megawatt project would be located on a 223-acre site just north of Washburn, northeast of Peoria. It’s is awaiting final approval by the Marshall County Board, which is expected to vote on the proposal Wednesday, the (Peoria) Journal Star reported.

The project is considered “utility-scale,” providing considerably more energy than most 2-megawatt community solar farms that have been approved in central Illinois in recent years.

The site of the project is farmland owned by two brothers, who live nearby and have farmed for many years. One of the brothers, Troy White, said the acreage for the solar project is a fraction of the land the brothers farm.

If approved, construction would occur in 2023. It will consist of installing solar panels in 1,000 rows of 100 panels each. The panels will be installed on a “tracking” axis, so they follow the sun throughout the day.

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