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Hobart (IN) Board of Zoning Appeals approves city’s first solar panel business March 5, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Uncategorized.
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By Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com                                

Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 11:00 pm

Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hobart/hobart-board-approves-city-s-first-solar-panel-business/article_7d342503-d5ce-5b62-a6ad-cf85f8078b34.html#ixzz1oFsYmyX9

HOBART | The Board of Zoning  Appeals said yes Wednesday to Hobart’s first solar generating  plant.

The board unanimously  approved a conditional use petition after a public hearing where a few  residents asked questions but offered no negative feedback.

Hobart Solar LLC, a Minnesota-based company, plans to erect 4,576 solar  panels on about 10 acres of a 50-acre parcel one-fourth mile from the northwest  corner of Liverpool Road and 49th Avenue, petitioner Brad Wilson said.

The project, which could be built as early as this summer, would  consist of modules — they would collect solar rays that would be converted  to energy — and an equipment pad.

The entire project would be enclosed with a fence, Wilson said.

Environmentalist Sandy O’Brien, a Hobart resident, asked that the  project be placed toward the front of the property, near 49th Avenue, away  from an Indiana Department of Natural Resources managed nature  preserve.

“I hope this is a win, win for Hobart,” O’Brien said.

Wilson said the intent is to place the project closer to 49th Avenue but  the exact location will be determined at a future Plan Commission meeting.

The City Council at its meeting Feb. 15 set the stage for the public  hearing by approving a new renewable energy ordinance for the city, City Planner  A.J. Bytnar said.

That ordinance spells out regulations for future businesses such as the  proposed solar generating plant on 49th Avenue, Bytnar said.

The Plan Commission on Feb. 2 agreed to give Hobart Solar LLC a favorable  recommendation to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The project will now go back before the Plan Commission for site plan review,  Bytnar said.

If Hobart officials approve the plans, the solar power project would be the  second of two planned for the area by the company, which also goes by Lincoln  Solar LLC.

The Merrillville Town Council in late January unanimously  approved a variance allowing Lincoln Solar LLC to erect 6,800 solar panels to  produce electricity, which would be sold to NIPSCO.

Read more: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hobart/hobart-board-approves-city-s-first-solar-panel-business/article_7d342503-d5ce-5b62-a6ad-cf85f8078b34.html#ixzz1oFXs7MvY

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