OLNEY, Ill. (WTHI) - You've probably seen them. Blue solar panels on top of everything from businesses, houses, and even street signs. But a new push for solar energy has officials in Olney taking notice.
Mayor Mark Lambird explains, "Across the state, they're getting ready to open up some availability for people to sell solar energy back to meet the mandates of the federal government for renewable energies."
That has brought one company to Richland County.
Lambird says, "We have a company that has identified three here in Richland County. So those three, two of them are in rural areas outside of the city limits. One of those is on the north-west side."
One area of land has moved the city to pass an ordinance.
Lambird says, "It more or less provided for a special zoning permit that it would give a variance that you could put solar panels in certain areas."
Solar farms must be in industrial or commercially zoned areas. The new ordinance may bring new power opportunities to the area. Mayor Lambird says it is still important to listen to homeowners concerns.
Lambird says, "It would be allowed in commercial and industrial areas that butt residential areas. A lot of that comes up to the idea that what does the neighborhood want. And if they come and express their concern about having that in their backyard."