Ed Heller

Ed Heller (standing) and Sam O’Keefe (seated) address the White County Board seeking a change in their permit to build a $153 million utility scale solar farm in southern White County. Both men are representatives of the New York-based energy company - Ranger Power. Sam O’Keefe is the firm’s Assistant Development Manager. The board approved the permit change to add more than 600 acres, which brings the project size to 3,000 acres.

Members of the White County Board have approved an amendment to Ranger Power’s permit to build a massive solar farm in southern White County. Ed Heller, a representative with New York-based Ranger Power asked the board to amend their permit to reflect the addition of around 620 acres of land to the project.

“The entire project will encompass about 3,000 acres,” Heller said. “The project will cost $153 million and will produce 149 mega-watts of power. We are now in the financing phase but firmly believe we will be producing power by August of 2021.” Heller added that the project will create around 200 construction jobs with additional maintenance jobs after the building phase. The utility scale solar farm will be built in the area of the unincorporated community of Sacramento in southern White County. The vote to amend Ranger Power’s permit was unanimous.

Coroner Chris Marsh addressed the board noting White County has experienced many more deaths this year than last year. Marsh noted there have been multiple traffic fatalities, a murder/suicide and a number of suicides this year. The number of coroner cases at the end of August has already exceeded the total number of deaths last year. Marsh told the board he was already over budget for 2020 primarily because of the number of autopsies that have been completed. Coroner Marsh wanted to inform the board that he cannot anticipate how many deaths will require an autopsy.

“I will not do one when one is needed,” Marsh said.

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Chronicle.