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In a letter to area residents, Next Era Energy out of Florida has notified several Linn and Benton County landowners that they plan to construct three solar energy generation projects, totaling 3500 acres, at and around the Duane Arnold Nuclear Station in Palo. This plan would generate 690 megawatts of energy.
In a letter to the residents, the company said that landowner participation is "voluntary." The letter reads, "Duane Arnold Solar does not anticipate requesting the right of eminent domain. HOWEVER, (emphasis added by the editor) if such a request becomes necessary, the right of eminent domain will be granted by the Iowa Utilities Board only after a public hearing on the eminent domain request."
At the end of the letter is a legal document requesting that the Iowa Utilities Board forgo the requirement to hold an informational meeting because it affects so many people and with COVID it would be impossible to arrange it safely. Concerned citizens have requested a meeting with the Benton County Board of Supervisors to ask their help to stop this in the county. Benton County has an Agricultural Land Use Protection Ordinance which protects productive farm ground from being re-zoned into commercial land use.
They have also started a petition to save area farmland and they are requesting signatures of residents to help save the land in our county. If you ask a farmer, they will tell you that our county has been built on agriculture, we feed the world from here.
If you would like to sign the petition, you can do so here.
To see the documents, click here.
If you would like to make a comment to the Iowa Utilities Board do so by clicking on this linkThere is an article concerning solar energy and using it responsibly here: https://www.citizensforresponsiblesolar.org

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Sara Alden June 9, 2021, 4:26 pm The Linn County petition against industrial scale solar is https://www.change.org/Stop-NextEra-Solar-in-Linn-County The link in the article is for the Benton County solar project which also needs support.
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