SolAmerica’s plans in Eureka on hold indefinitely

By Holly Eaton for Chronicle Media

More than 350 residents have signed a petition opposing SolAmerica Energy of Atlanta’s plan to operate a 25-30-acre solar farm on land just south of Lakeview Acres Subdivision, southwest of Marshall Road.

After months of leaping over county legal hurdles and deflecting public grievances over an application to build a solar farm in Eureka, SolAmerica has been denied the opportunity, at least for quite a long time.

On April 10, the Illinois Power Agency posted results of its lottery drawing, in which all solar farm applicants were randomly chosen to participate in the agency’s Adjustable Block Program.

On March 21, 2018, the Georgia-based solar energy company filed for a special use permit to build a $2 million solar farm southwest of Lakeview Acres subdivision at the foot of Marshall Road. The 2 megawatt “solar garden” was planned for a 55-acre patch of land owned by Robert Hartman of Metamora.

The application was approved twice by the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals, only to be volleyed back but the county board until October, when board members refused to second the motion for a vote.

In January, the company triumphed in court when Circuit Judge Charles Feeny dismissed the County Board’s decision and the company won the special zoning exception.

It’s back. Sol America took the case to court, and on January 17, the County Board’s decision was dismissed by Circuit Judge Charles Feeny, and the company won the special zoning exception.

Nevertheless, the Eureka application wasn’t drawn in the lottery, and, instead, has been shelved along with a multitude of others on the agency’s very long waiting list. The glut of applicants to the program was so great, that it’s likely the Eureka community solar farm will not see the light of day.

SolAmerica did see some success on the roster; its application for a solar farm in Mapleton was accepted. To view the Illinois Power Agency lottery results, visit