Project NewsEarthrise Energy Holds First Open House on Gibson City Energy Center – Solar 1 Project

Earthrise Energy Holds First Open House on Gibson City Energy Center – Solar 1 Project

More than 20 residents gathered at Earthrise’s Energy’s open house on Thursday, November 30, to learn more about its proposed 135-megawatt Gibson City Energy Center – Solar 1 project.

During the event at the Cheney’s Grove Township Building, Earthrise Energy Senior Director of Development Jonathan Pike was joined by Ellie Ginis, the project’s development lead, and other representatives from the company to field questions about the project. The company expects to seek approval from the McLean Zoning Board of Appeals to construct the solar plant in early 2024.

“We wanted to hear directly from local residents about our proposed plan and understand any concerns they have so we could address them proactively and take them into consideration in our zoning application,” said Pike. “We were glad to be able to clarify the project location, answer questions and give folks more information about who we are as a company and a team.”
Questions posed by farmers, local officials, and other community stakeholders focused on the proposed project timeline and setbacks or the distance solar panels must be from property line.

“We want to be crystal clear with neighbors regarding setbacks. The county requires that any panels be set back 50 feet from adjoining properties and roads, or 150 feet from properties with residences,” said Pike. “The project fence will be located within the designated setback area rather than on the property line itself, ensuring that neighboring farmers can continue with business as usual.”
Ginis said that Earthrise Energy has completed the required environmental studies to minimize environmental impacts and will adhere to all local and state requirements, including adhering to setback requirements and entering into an Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

“If approved by the zoning board, the proposed project would boost the local economy and generate millions of dollars in economic activity,” said Ginis. “Once completed the project would also create enough clean energy to power about 23,000 homes.”

Earthrise Energy plans to hold an additional open house when it submits its official zoning application in early 2024. Residents can also schedule an appointment with Ginis and other Earthrise Energy team members to discuss the proposed solar project by emailing

To learn more about the Gibson City Energy Center – Solar 1 project, go to