Evergy, FreeState Electrical Cooperative worked to address concerns

Three people asked Shawnee County commissioners June 13 to deny a permit request that would enable a solar farm to be created at 4306 SW Auburn Road.

took note, and responded by sending that proposal back to the county planning commission.

But no one spoke in opposition Thursday as commissioners considered — and this time approved — a revised version of the permit.

The situation was resolved because neighbors and the companies involved — Evergy and FreeState Electrical Cooperative Inc. — worked together to come up with “an agreement that everybody can live with,” said Commissioner Kevin Cook.

He thanked them for doing that.

The county’s system for dealing with conditional use permit requests had worked the way it should, said Commissioners Aaron Mays and Bill Riphahn.

Still, Riphahn said, the circumstances suggest Shawnee County needs to put regulations in place regarding solar energy and wind energy.

Farm will feature 5,720 solar panels

After opting June 13 to not approve a permit to allow an Evergy solar farm, Shawnee County commissioners Thursday approved a revised version of that request.

The permit approved Thursday will enable Evergy and FreeState to jointly operate a solar farm on 13.71 acres owned by John and Pamela Eagan, who had agreed to sell that property if the permit was approved.

Energy from the farm will be transmitted to the nearby FreeState electrical substation to its south, and used locally.

The farm will be composed of 5,720 solar panels, standing at a maximum height of 12 feet, according to a document in the agenda packet from the commission’s June 13 meeting.

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