Reactions mixed over plans for biggest solar farm in Kansas history

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GARDNER, Kan. — Alan Anglyn said there’s nothing quite like the spectacular sunsets on his property west of downtown Gardner. Ironically, he fears plans for a massive solar farm will ruin his view of the sun.

“I’d go from having a rural setting to an industrial setting with high fences and barbed wire,” Anglyn told FOX4. “Looking at panels and arrays and things like that, instead of the green here.”

NextEra Energy, a Florida-based energy company, has expressed interest in developing a $320 million solar farm in the southern part of Johnson County.

According to NextEra Energy’s website, the proposed project would require approximately 3,500 acres of land to establish the West Gardner Solar project. The proposed solar farm would generate up to 320 Megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Johnson County officials held a special meeting on Tuesday night to examine the details of the potential project. Nothing of this magnitude has ever been considered, relating to solar power, in the county.

Other neighbors near the likely location of the solar farm have mixed reactions to the proposal.

Michelle Bolton said she willing to listen.

“I’m willing to consider selling my land if it’s a fair offer,” Bolton said. “I don’t have any reason not to consider and find another property to live on.”

Just next door, Alisa Mohney said she’s a hard ‘no’.

“We just like our property, we like our peace out here,” Mohney said. “We just don’t want to see something like that come in and lower the values of our homes and just take up the space.”

Johnson County officials say a public hearing on the project will likely happen later this fall. County commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal in the early part of next year.

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