OLATHE, Kan. — The year-long debate about how to regulate utility scale solar projects in Johnson County has come to an end.

During a special meeting Monday, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve regulations for utility scale solar projects within the county. 

Last spring NextEra Energy expressed interest in creating a 320 Megawatt (MW) solar farm in unincorporated portions of the county. The potential West Gardner Solar Project would cover more than 3,000 acres in western Johnson County and eastern Douglas county.

But before any work can begin, county leaders have to decide how solar farms will be regulated. 

The commission approved regulations capping solar projects at 2,000 acres in size with a 1.5-mile buffer between solar projects and city limits. The commission also voted for a 25-year conditional use permit (CUP).