Pulaski County is gearing up for potential solar farm development. Building Inspector Doug Hoover told the county commissioners Monday that he’s heard from multiple companies who want to put solar panels in Pulaski County.
“I want to set up a little meeting, probably here, and they’ll go over a lot of the questions that people have been talking about, and that type of deal,” Hoover added.
County officials believe solar development has the potential to bring in a lot of revenue to the county and local landowners. Plan Commission Member Lawrence Loehmer said developers are eyeing Pulaski County and its neighbors, due to their location on NIPSCO’s new Reynolds-Topeka Transmission Line. “Basically, it’s whoever gets the ordinance passed so they can start building because the building has to be done by 2023 for them to get the government funding,” Loehmer explained.
County Attorney Kevin Tankersley pointed out that the county’s Unified Development Ordinance already has provisions for solar arrays. “So we have the ordinance,” he said. “It’s just a matter of when these companies come in, if the federal plans have changed, what do you need to change in your ordinance? And that’s what we don’t know. That’s an easy fix.”
Loehmer said the developers would also be interested in pursuing a payment in lieu of taxes agreement.
Commissioner Jerry Locke spoke out in favor of solar development. “It’d bring good revenue into the county,” he said, “and I don’t think there’d be near the push-back as what we all had on them windmills.”
“Well, I’d like to have one at my own place,” Commissioner Mike McClure added.
The commissioners agreed to let the county attorney, Building Department, plan commission, and other officials continue pursuing solar development and start working on the necessary documents.