Commissioners a tough audience for Box Car’s solar plans

Box Car Wind representatives presented their plan for a proposed solar wind farm between Garvin and Balaton near the Highway 14 area at Tuesday’s Lyon County Board of Commissioners meeting, but the plan was met with some resistance by commissioners.

The company behind the surge in green energy production in southwest Minnesota through wind power has outlined a new project called Coneflower Solar, a solar garden on up to 1,670 acres of land in southern Lyon County. The project would generate up to 235 megawatts of clean energy, with an online date of 2027.

“It would generate somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 in tax revenue each year for Lyon County,” said Drew Christensen, director of public engagement for Box Car Wind. “The solar resource in southwest Minnesota is a lot better than people realize. There’s a lot of sunshine here.”

Lyon County Board Chair Gary Crowley said his major concern with a solar farm going up is it would mean taking good farmland out of production. In essence, he said, it would put another burden on local farmers in terms of them being forced to find new land to farm.

See more in this week’s paper!