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Land-use group tries to stop Oregon solar farm

MEDFORD, Ore. – The land-use group 1000 Friends of Oregon is trying to block a large solar farm planned for prime agricultural land outside Medford.

The Mail Tribune reported the Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved the project last month by a 2-to-1 vote. 1000 friends filed its intent to appeal with the state Land Use Board of Appeals on Friday.

Neighboring landowners and other opponents say high-value farmland should not be converted to a large-scale solar farm.

Commissioners said the solar farm that would include almost 40,000 panels is an economically beneficial use of the land and doesn’t permanently remove it from agricultural production. They imposed a condition that the farm be dismantled after 30 years so the land can be returned to agricultural use.

Florida-based Origis Energy hopes to install panels, fencing and other parts of the solar farm in the next few months.


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