- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A developer is hoping to build the largest solar field in Iowa just northeast of Fort Dodge.

The Messenger (https://bit.ly/1QBy7JH ) reports that the Holliday Creek solar project would produce about 100 megawatts when completed. That’s enough to power about 30,000 average homes.

EDF Renewable Energy is currently talking with local landowners about the project, according to Webster County Supervisor Keith Dencklau. The company hopes to sign a 37-year lease for 1,000- to 1,200-acres of land east of the Fort Dodge Regional Airport, south of Badger and west of Vincent.

Dencklau said the company has offered $800 per acre, which would increase 2.5 percent each year.

Leanne Russell Fate, a project developer for the company, said the area was targeted due to the availability of transmission capacity, community interest and suitability of the land.

“While the project does not yet have an offtake arrangement, our customers have expressed an interest in solar in the Midwest and we will continue those conversations as development continues,” Fate said.

There’s still a lot to consider, Dencklau said, including the impact the solar panels would have on the soil.

The company is also putting together a good neighbor agreement to ensure that the company gets along with those who live in proximity to the solar project.

The company previously built a large wind turbine farm in southern Webster County, Dencklau said. MidAmerican Energy now owns the large wind turbine farm.

EDF Renewable Energy hopes to have the project running sometime between 2018 and 2020.

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Information from: The Messenger, https://www.messengernews.net

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