CARBON COUNTY, Mont. — A remote wooded area between Spilt Rock Resort and Hickory Run State Park in Kidder Township could soon hold a massive commercial solar farm.
Cypress Creek Renewables is behind the project that leased this land from Blue Ridge Real Estate.
"It consists of 180,000 panels, as a 60-megawatt project, and will be sited on about 600 to 700 acres. Not all of that is going to be covered in panels, but that's roughly the amount of area that would be inside of our fence," said David Weightman, a senior developer with Cypress Creek Renewable.
Weightman and Parker Sloan are overseeing the project. They're seeking a zoning ordinance from the township for the solar farm.
In the Poconos, the only other solar farm is at Pocono Raceway, and that's a 3-megawatt project.
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The proposed project in Kidder Township will be 20 times that.
"Based on the 60 megawatts of power generations here in this circumstance, that comes out to approximately the use of 10,000 homes, 10,000 residences in your area," said Parker Sloan, senior community engagement manager for Cypress Creek Renewables.
A big concern is making sure neighbors aren't impacted or even able to see the project, and that is why it'll be lined with trees.
"We need to do a lot of engineering and design work to make sure, you know, that it's not going to be sending stormwater onto any adjacent properties, even though I think we are at least a quarter-mile from the closest residences," Weightman said. "It will be very difficult for people to see the projector for it to cause glare or really affect anybody. It's just tucked out of sight out of mind."
The construction of the project will employ 100 people. Once that's done, five to eight full-time positions will open to monitor the grids.
The project is slated to break ground in 2024 and end sometime in 2025, but it needs township approval.
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