Sioux Falls Area Solar Farm Denied
The Minnehaha County Commission in conjunction with the Sioux Falls City council denied the application for a solar farm near 57th and Tea Ellis Road.
Geronimo Energy wanted permission to construct the farm, but was only going to move forward if they secured a contract with a local energy company.
Many concerns were addressed including Geronimo’s history and stability and how the grounds would be cared for and kept secure.
Counselor Greg Jamison urged those in the meeting to look at the bigger picture of how any solar farm could fit into the scope of Sioux Falls, "If we had a solar farm in our backyard, how would we want it built, how would we want it buffered between us, them, the neighbors."
Other issues arising were concerns about glare from the solar panels and property values. Attorney Mike Schaeffer, representing 14 landowners cited concerns over responsibility if Geronimo energy’s contract ended or the company became insolvent. "I think if there is any condition that should be imposed on this it should be a surety or bonding requirement, otherwise we might end up with a bunch of panels out there that are shattered and pieces of glass laying all over and people who are going to have to live with that and be responsible."
According to Mike Cooper with the city of Sioux Falls, the city doesn’t allow for a solar farm, but the location is currently 1 mile outside of the city limits. The project was valued at 25 million dollars.
Both the Sioux Falls City Council and The county commission denied the application.