The Lake in the Hills Airport’s solar farm project is set to move forward – despite facing a lengthy Federal Aviation Administration approval process and an indefinite wait for funding, according to Airport Manager Michael Peranich.
Peranich said the airport had been working with a developer in California to construct a 2 megawatt solar farm on 8 acres at the airport, 8407 Pyott Road. This output would be enough to power 200 to 500 homes, according to estimates from similar sized solar projects.
In April, the Illinois Power Agency held a lottery to determine which community solar projects would receive renewable energy credits first. Developers can use the credits to support the construction of solar farms.
The Lake in the Hills Airport project was not one of the six McHenry County projects that was funded in the first round of the lottery.
“Even though we may not get the lottery, we thought that it was advantageous to begin the FAA process well in advance knowing that it’s going to take some time,” Peranich said.
As of now, Peranich said the airport received soft approval to draft an airport layout plan, which the FAA uses to guide capital improvement projects. Peranich said the project is moving forward with the sense that construction will begin in 2020, pending lottery results.
“From here on out, it’s not going to be a sense of urgency but we’re not going to stop the process,” Peranich said.