ANDERSON – The Indiana Municipal Power Agency is planning to construct three new solar parks on the east side of Anderson.

Anderson Municipal Light & Power is a founding member of IMPA and there are already two solar parks located in the city.

The first was opened on Park Road in 2015 and generates 5 megawatts of electricity; the second was opened in 2017 on Madison Avenue generating 8 megawatts of electricity.

The Anderson City Council approved 10-year tax abatements for both projects. The company invested approximately $21 million on the city's first two solar parks.

IMPA has 31 solar parks in Indiana including a 2-megawatt park in Pendleton and a 1-megawatt facility in Frankton.

The proposal from IMPA includes three separate locations, one under the jurisdiction of the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals and two within Anderson city limits.

IMPA has contracted to purchase the property from the ELDA Corp. and V&M Cook Holdings in the 2900 block of 38th Street and the 3400 block of Rangeline Road in the city limits and 26 acres in the county between Rangeline Road and Indiana 67.

Jack Alvey, executive vice president of IMPA, said in an email the three solar parks will generate 18 megawatts of electricity.

The estimated cost of the project is $25 million with construction planned to start in the second quarter of 2020 and be in operation in 2021.

IMPA is seeking a special use from the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals at a 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting.

The development has to include a setback of 140 feet from the center of the roads.

They are requesting special exceptions and variances with the Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals on both parcels. The variances requested are not to require a hard surface drive and relief from screen planting requirements. IMPA is also requesting a waiver from the sidewalk and cross access requirements.

The two city sites include approximately 99 acres.

The Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the request at 4 p.m. July 3.

IMPA filed its request with the Madison County Plan Commission before the Board of Zoning Appeals will consider a six-month moratorium on new solar park developments in the county on June 28.

The county's BZA could make a recommendation to the Madison County Board of Commissioners to impose the moratorium so the county’s solar energy ordinance can be reviewed and potentially amended, particularly as it pertains to setbacks from nonparticipating residential properties.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

What's Next

Who: Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals

What: Special use request for solar park by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, east of Anderson

When: 9 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Council chambers, Madison County Government Center, 16 E. Ninth St., Anderson