COURTLAND Minn. (KEYC) — An application from Nicollet Garden LLC proposes to install solar modules on six acres of land in Section 13 of Courtland Township.
The proposed solar fields are set to produce more than 1.85 million kilowatts of clean energy each year for Xcel Energy.
That’s the equivalent of powering 120 to 150 homes. It would replace some imported electricity that is coming, largely, from coal and nuclear plants.
But locals living in rural Courtland by the panels do have concerns.
“As a rural property owner, I don’t feel like I should be subject to having that in my front yard. When the people that are trying to put in the front yard don’t even live here. It limits the amount of people actually interested in buying my house because there’s a solar field in my front yard," said property owner Scott Flowers.
To address that concern, project planners are proposing a living wall of Cardinal Dogwood trees along the 501st lane.
The applicant also intends to seed the project site with pollinator-friendly grasses.
Others are worried that the solar panels themselves might be hazardous or toxic.
However, Dan Rogers, of the developers Nicollet Garden, LLC says there are no harmful effects to humans.
"There is nothing hazardous in a solar module. It’s polysilicon, which is effectively refined sand, there is glass, there is aluminum that covers the glass and there’s copper that gets the electricity out. Otherwise, everything else is the same as an electric infrastructure.”
A public hearing will be in St. Peter in the County Board Room of the Nicollet County Government Center in St. Peter where people can voice any concerns or ask questions.
A representative from the developer will be present.