Neighbors file lawsuit in attempt to stop solar farm slated for eastern Lancaster County

Solar farm lawsuit
Solar farm lawsuit(Ellis Wiltsey)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 9:33 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 9:34 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Dozens of neighbors in eastern Lancaster County have filed a lawsuit, looking to halt a solar farm slated for construction near their homes.

In December of 2021, that project cleared its final major hurdle, getting a green light from the county. This allowed for Ranger Power to put up solar panels in those subdivisions.

The project is slated for east of 112th Street between O and Havelock Streets and would span close to five square miles that would plug into the LES grid.

The company estimates it would create enough green energy to power 30,000 homes but it has some seeing red.

A lawsuit filed earlier this month hinges on the construction of those panels on out lots near the property of the plaintiffs.

Previously those out lots were only allowed to be developed for agricultural use, but a special permit approved by the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners changed those rules.

The permit does require panels to be at least 450 feet away from homes but neighbors are still unhappy and asking the court to overturn the permit.

Just shy of 35 neighbors are arguing that this is a violation of plot restrictions and the development plan for the area.

Neighbors said they were told when they purchased these lots that there would be no developments like this. They have also voiced concerns over the past year about environmental impacts and that the panels may lower their property values.

The defendants include Salt Creek Solar, which is part of Ranger Power. Ranger Power told 10/11 Now last year that construction on the project would likely begin in 2022 or 2023 and cost about $230 million.

10/11 Now reached out to Ranger Power about the lawsuit but have not heard back.