Pottawatomie County officials voted Monday to extend a moratorium, set to expire at the end of the year on commercial solar farms, for three more years.
Uncertainty over the financial benefits of such operations and property rights have been at the center of discussion since the county began writing regulations for solar in early 2021. Solar farms provide solar power greater than one megawatt with the potential of generating several hundred megawatts of electricity and encompassing several thousands of acres of rural Pottawatomie County.
Commissioner Greg Riat initially had hoped for a five year moratorium after this year, but settled on three years.
Commission Chair Pat Weixelman seconded Riat’s motion to extend the moratorium, through 2026.
Commissioner Dee McKee opposed, stating she doesn’t want to deter potential solar companies from coming to Pottawatomie County outright.
The board also tentatively approved regulations for the smaller scale solar gardens, which will be finalized next week.
Solar gardens will be limited to 16 acres, and no two solar gardens will be allowed closer than half a mile from each other. Property line set backs would be 750 feet and equipment will be required to be at least 100 feet from the road right-of-way.