There will be a public meeting June 10 at 6 p.m. at the Palo Community Center for us all to submit questions for NextEra to answer publicly. You can either attend in person or tune in via the zoom link in the Facebook event below.
Please feel free to follow these links for more information and to submit questions.
Event on Facebook --> Palo NextEra Q&A Event
Submit Questions here --> Open Ended Questions for NextEra
Any question is fair game. This meeting is specific to the proposed project by NextEra affecting Palo, Center Point, etc... however, the positioning and projects in both counties are very similar.
In a letter to area residents, Next Era Energy out of Florida has notified several Linn and Benton County landowners that they plan to construct three solar energy generation projects, totaling 3500 acres, at and around the Duane Arnold Nuclear Station in Palo. This plan would generate 690 megawatts of energy.
The company said that landowner participation is "voluntary." The letter reads, "Duane Arnold Solar does not anticipate requesting the right of eminent domain. HOWEVER, (emphasis added by the editor) if such a request becomes necessary, the right of eminent domain will be granted by the Iowa Utilities Board only after a public hearing on the eminent domain request."
At the end of the letter is a legal document requesting that the Iowa Utilities Board forgo the requirement to hold an informational meeting because it affects so many people and with COVID it would be impossible to arrange it safely.
Concerned citizens met with the Benton County Board of Supervisors to ask their help to stop this in the county. Benton County has an Agricultural Land Use Protection Ordinance which protects productive farm ground from being re-zoned into commercial land use.
They have also started a petition to save area farmland and they are requesting signatures of residents to help save the land in our county. If you ask a farmer, they will tell you that our county has been built on agriculture, we feed the world from here.
If you would like to sign the Benton County petition, you can do so here.
To see the documents sent out by the county, click here.
If you would like to make a comment to the Iowa Utilities Board do so by clicking on this link