ANDERSON — The company planning to construct the Lone Oak Solar Energy Center is requesting a two-year extension.

Invenergy is hoping to construct a $110 million solar energy facility on about 1,249 acres in Monroe and Pipe Creek townships.

As required in the project’s approval, the solar energy farm is to be completed and operating by Dec. 31, 2023.

The company has filed a petition with the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals for an extension to have the solar energy farm operational by Dec. 31, 2025. The Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to consider the request for the modification of the construction time line at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 28.

In May 2019, the BZA approved a special use zoning variance for the project hat will produce 120 megawatts of electricity. The approval included a 500-foot buffer zone between anything related to Invenergy’s center and the property line of neighbors who aren’t leasing land to Invenergy.

It also included an extension of time for construction to start no later than Dec. 31, 2023, and increased the bond for decommissioning the solar farm to $5.6 million.

In 2019 the Madison County Council voted to rescind the economic revitalization area designation, effectively eliminating the possibility of obtaining a tax abatement.

Since the project was announced, it has faced opposition from area residents who have voiced concerns about the effect on property values and the loss of agricultural farm ground in the county.

Company officials have maintained the project would not hurt property values and that the ground could be returned to agricultural production in the future.
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