JEFFERSON — The City of Jefferson Common Council got a glimpse of a bright future Tuesday as developers took a first glimpse at the soon-to-be-completed solar farm on the city’s north side.
Representatives of Half Moon Ventures, a Chicago-based company that recently purchased the development, presented plans to the council for a renewable energy production facility slated to begin construction three years after talk of a solar field first got under way.
Green States Energy, a Florida-based company, approached the city in summer 2010 with plans to build a 100-acre solar energy farm on city-owned property that would produce 20 megawatts of electricity. That project was slated to be completed by late 2011 or early 2012.
Although construction on that project never moved forward, earlier this summer, Half Moon Ventures, which maintains a Milwaukee office, purchased a 100-percent interest in the project, gaining complete control over the future development. It intends to construct a seven-acre solar park housing 3,600 solar panels to produce 1 megawatt of electricity.
It is scheduled to open in December.
“We have entered into a supplemental agreement with Half Moon Ventures, and that supplemental agreement … also established the lease commencement date as today, Sept. 17,” said City Administrator Tim Freitag. “Earlier this evening, Kevin (Hirsch, Half Moon Ventures chief financial officer) provided a check in the amount of about $123,000 to the City of Jefferson for a 20-year prepaid lease.”
Hirsch said Half Moon, which bills itself as a “pioneer in renewable energy project development,” will approach the project from a financial angle rather than as a construction or engineering challenge.
“Renewable large projects today are chiefly a financing project to produce energy at the lowest possible cost with a renewable resource,” he said. “We were very excited to see this project come in front of us, and we only wish it were 20 Megawatts, as we told Tim countless times. But we still think this can be a wonderful project for the city and I hope you guys will see that, as well.”...[READ MORE]