Pike Co. residents speak out about $128M solar project

Pike Co. residents speak out about $128M solar project

PIKE Co., Ind. (WFIE) - The possibility of a $128 million solar project coming to Pike County isn’t sitting well with some residents.

Homeowner Shawn Wilson, who would be affected by this project, explains why he’s concerned. 

“People are not going to continue to build homes in this area or put new homes in this area,” said Wilson. 

Project leaders say this project would bring in construction jobs, tax revenue, and other economic benefits to Pike County. 

“They’re not going to be able to buy a home or sell a home because the value is not going to be worth anything, and nobody’s going to move into a large solar field area,” said Wilson. “There’s health issues that nobody has done any research here, nobody’s inquired about it.”

Economic development leaders say county officials held a listening session with concerned homeowners to voice questions and concerns. 

Wilson says he was at this meeting but still doesn’t agree. They say the company will be meeting with them on the evening of July 13 to address their concerns. 

“There’s a significant amount of radiation from what we read that gets put off on the solar panels. There’s significant risk to the wildlife, that happens when the bird flies over, it gets too close, it fries in mid-air,” said Wilson. 

Economic development leaders say the council is working with homeowners to establish setbacks in an area that is without zoning to make homeowners comfortable. 

“We should have had a voice in this all along, it shouldn’t have been something that happened behind closed doors,” said Wilson. 

Now Pike County economic development leaders say that this is going to be presented in front of the county council on July 14.

That’s when there will be a public hearing, and people can comment if they’d like to. 

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