Solar energy project coming to rural McLean County

Earthrise Energy’s project will use 1,365 acres of land in Saybrook, in the eastern part of the county. (Photo courtesy WMBD-TV)


BLOOMINGTON – The McLean County Board last week approved an application for a solar energy project. Earthrise Energy’s project will use 1,365 acres of land in Saybrook, in the eastern part of the county.

This year, Farmer George Jones is farming his 38th crop. Last year, he farmed about 2,500 acres of land. Due to the solar energy project, he lost 360 acres of farming land. But Jones sees a silver lining.

“I am a big believer that we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels as much as we possibly can. Solar and wind are a big portion of that. Of course, it’s not all of it by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a big portion. We have a lot of windmills in this area and I think the solar farm is the next level that needs to come in to help with that.”

Jones believes the solar energy project will be good for the community.

“I think the solar farm for us is going to be great. It’s going to bring in jobs. It’s going to bring in tax dollars for our local schools. It’s going to be a plus for the community,” said Jones. “Yes, it’s going to take out some farm ground. But in the long run, I think the pros outweigh the cons.”

Jones said he will plant clover, a cover crop to help with wind and water erosion.


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