Monroe County endorses solar farm project

Monroe County has endorsed a company's plan to lease county-owned land for a proposed five-megawatt solar energy farm.

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Friday that could allow Solar Zentrum to lease county-owned land for 20 years for a solar farm that would have between 4,000 and 5,000 solar photovoltaic panels. Those panels turn sunlight into electricity.

The Herald-Times reports that the project is subject to approval by the city of Bloomington and any county lease requirements.

Solar Zentrum is vying for a contract with Duke Energy that would allow the company to build the solar farm and sell the electricity it produces to the utility.

A growing number of companies and units of government has begun exploring solar opportunities, as prices for the technology fall and traditional electric rates increase.

For example, IBJ reported this month that Hamilton County's commissioners are working with local energy consultant Johnson Melloh Solutions to come up with a plan to put rooftop solar panels on public property including the courthouse and jail.

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