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Tippecanoe County is thinking solar

Tippecanoe County is in the midst of exploring a new form of renewable energy.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 11:19 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2019 11:26 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Tippecanoe County is in the midst of exploring a new form of renewable energy.

Officials, leaders and community members are thinking solar.

There are no plans for solar farms yet in the 503 square miles on the county.

The first step is to draft an ordinance.

County commissioner Tom Murtaugh has a lot on his plate.

"There is just so much to be discussed," said Murtaugh.

Only three out of the 92 counties in Indiana have ordinances in place for solar panel farms.

Murtaugh wants to be proactive and stay ahead of the curve.

"We just obviously want to be prepared in case that opportunity comes forth so we can have an ordinance on the books," said Murtaugh

It's a long way to before any sort of draft is finalized.

"This is not something that will happen quickly we will have to work through this likely for several months before we come up with anything for APC."

APC director Sallie Fahey said community input would be helpful whether positive or negative.

"I'm quite sure there will be opinions," said Fahey. "What they are is yet to be seen. I'm quite sure there will a lot of people who are proactively in favor."

Of the things to be talked about acreage limit has a high importance.

County leaders like Murtaugh and Fahey are using White, Fulton and Shelby counties as an example for the future ordinance.

Shelby County, about 90 miles away from Tippecanoe County, will host one of the largest solar farms in the midwest in 2023.

That example will generate enough power to 35,000 homes and bring in 400 jobs, with no tax payer money being affected.

"It's not a single unit like you would see on a roof top, it will be multiple solar units that are in some sort of configuration like youd see around the airport in Indianapolis," said Murtaugh.

Murtaugh and county leaders would like the public's input.

The first meeting to discuss the solar panel ordinance is Wednesday, July 3rd.

It's in the county building at 4:30 p.m..

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