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KCC solar farm gets city OK

November 7, 2018

KANKAKEE — Kankakee Community College took another step forward with its plans to have a 15-acre solar farm on its Kankakee campus.

By a 12-0 vote Monday, the Kankakee City Council approved the measure which is projected to save the college an estimated $3.2 million in ComEd electricity costs during the 25-year life of the solar farm.

The farm would be developed by Pivot Energy, of Denver, Colo. The cost of the development is being funded by an undisclosed donor, meaning the project will not cost the college anything.

When it operates at full capacity, the solar farm will provide KCC with 30 percent of its needed energy.

If successful in gaining all the necessary permits through the state’s Illinois Power Agency, the solar farm could be in operation as early as April or May. Pivot Energy is hoping some site work can be started even before the anticipated state approval is gained.

In addition to the KCC solar farm, the council also granted a permit for a solar garden at 2855 E. Court St. This project would be on a 14-acre site directly northeast of Eastgate Industrial Park.

The Kankakee Planning Board approved these solar projects on Oct. 16. At that Planning Board meeting, a solar farm also was approved for a 16-acre site just south of Soldier Creek and along American Way road in north Kankakee.

Both of these small solar farms are on property owned by local businessman Jerry Alexander. Alexander asked why the American Way project was not on the council agenda.

He was told there were some points of clarification needed and the matter would be discussed at an upcoming Kankakee City Council committee meeting.

Alexander hoped the matter would be promptly addressed because he wanted to have both projects submitted to the state.

Regarding the KCC project, once the life of the solar farm has ended, the development will be removed.

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