KANKAKEE — Two solar farms are one step closer to being operational in Kankakee County after the county board approved their decommissioning plans at its meeting Tuesday.

SolAmerica Energy’s Kankakee Yonke Solar Farm is proposed for construction at U.S. Route 45-52 and River Road in Kankakee and its decommissioning bond is $223,474. The Spring Creek Solar Solar Project is to be built just north of 930 State Route 1 in St. Anne, and it’s decommissioning bond is $151,009.

Both were Ok’d by the state of Illinois and received tax credits from the state.

“One is in the city of Kankakee and one is out in the country,” said Board Chairman Andy Wheeler. “They all have to do the bonding. We’re not taking corporate charities or anything like that because companies go under. We want the cash in hand or the bond in escrow.

“We have to have the decommissioning because if they go under, we have to have the money to tear it down. It’s a good deal for the landowner because they make more out of it than growing crops. This is just the first step.”

Both solar farms now must have their engineering plans approved.

“They’re building this summer,” Wheeler said. “At the end of spring, they’re going to start. ... Once all the [engineering] is done, they give us a check for the permit and they can build.”

Wheeler expects both of the projects to be completed this year.

“It’s not that big of a construction project,” he said. “They just drive those things right in the ground, and they’re there.”

The SolAmerica Energy site will have approximately 8,640 solar panels on an area of 15.55 acres. A 7-foot tall chain-link security fence will encase the entire project area.

The Spring Creek Solar Farms will cover approximately 19 acres, and it will have 8,820 panels.

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