NextEra Energy Resources LLC has submitted applications to Linn County Planning & Development for two utility-scale solar projects in Linn County – Duane Arnold Solar I and Duane Arnold Solar II. The applications are posted on Linn County’s website.
A utility-scale solar project requires an application to rezone the area to be used for the solar installation to (RE) Renewable Energy Overlay Zoning District.
Once an applicant submits a utility-scale solar application to Linn County Planning & Development, the review process begins. This process is robust and includes benchmark reviews from the Technical Review Committee, Planning & Development staff, and the Planning & Zoning Commission before any application is presented to the Board of Supervisors. The review process is designed to review all applications thoroughly against the development standards outlined in Linn County’s utility-scale solar ordinance. Additional standards may be imposed as part of the review process.
The review process is the same for all utility-scale solar applicants:
- Applicants must undergo a review by the Technical Review Committee (TRC), the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC), and three readings by the Board of Supervisors. These are public meetings. The TRC meeting is open to the public but is not a public hearing. The PZC meeting is a public hearing where the public can comment on the application.
- The Planning & Zoning Commission must consider the Technical Review Committee's findings and staff recommendation of the application, and must consider the proposed rezoning during at least one public meeting before submitting its findings and recommendation of approval or denial on the application to the Board of Supervisors.
- The Board of Supervisors will hold three public hearings for the rezoning request before making their final decision.
- All recommendations, including the final decision by the Board of Supervisors, must be based on the development standards for utility-scale solar contained in Linn County's Code of Ordinances section 107-117 (h). Additional standards may be imposed as part of the review process.
- Linn County will notify the applicant and surrounding property owners of the date and time of the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting and public hearing and invite them to attend.
Review meetings for the NextEra Energy Resources LLC applications have not yet been set. Communications will be issued as dates are finalized. Sign up to be notified of the meetings and agendas once they are scheduled by visiting www.LinnCountyIowa.gov/NotifyMe.
For more information on the utility-scale solar permitting process in Linn County, visit www.LinnCountyIowa.gov/SolarFarm.