The leader of a group opposed to the location of a solar-panel development in Mendon Township is spearheading a campaign to have the proposal put before township voters.
Kayleen Grand’s effort comes after Mendon Township Board members on Tuesday approved an ordinance that gives a green light to a solar-panel development.
Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy is behind the White Pine Solar project, slated for a 200-acre area on the north side of Prairie Corners Road at Bucknell Road.
The ordinance becomes official seven days after it appears in a local newspaper. Township attorney Joe Haas said he expects it to be published in an edition of next week’s Sturgis Journal.
According to Grand, she has 30 days from the date of publication to secure at least 175 signatures from Mendon Township’s registered voters and submit the petition to county clerk Lindsay Oswald.
If the petition is accepted, Mendon Township voters would then have an opportunity to approve or reject the ordinance. Grand said under this process, the voters have final say.
Geronimo plans to develop a 20-megawatt project on the property it purchased in 2017 from farmer Lyle Schmidt.
Based on the company’s analysis of the Mendon Township site, it will require a capital investment of $29 million and reduce an estimated 24,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.