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Malden Solar Farm opposition continues

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

A Porter County commissioner is confident he can stop the Malden Solar Farm from getting built, even as the county's review of the developer's application moves forward.

Earlier this month, the commissioners agreed to repeal the solar regulations put in place in 2020. That will allow a plan commission subcommittee to revise the rules.

On Monday, Morgan Township resident Natalie Morris-Cole told the commissioners that she felt the Malden project should be reviewed under the new ordinance, not the old one. "I'm going to be looking at solar fields for the rest of my life, and I'm concerned about that," Morris-Cole said. "And I think there's a lot of people concerned."

She said a petition opposing the solar farm has gotten more than 2,000 signatures, and more than 400 anti-solar-farm signs have been placed in yards.

But County Attorney Scott McClure still believes NextEra's application can move forward under the old ordinance, since it was submitted before it was repealed — even though that application may not end up being the final version. "When an application is first dropped off to the department, it is incomplete until it's reviewed," McClure explained.

Still, Commissioner Jim Biggs said he'd refuse to approve the required road use agreement, in an effort to stop the project.