Lyon County looks at major solar project

Lyon County commissioners this week will consider approving a major solar project outside Balaton, a town of about 630 residents.

The project would install nearly 4,000 solar panels on about 8 acres of land, generating 1 megawatt of photovoltaic power. That's typically enough to power 600 to 700 homes.

Big Wolf LLC, the developer, said in a presentation to the County Board that it plans to sell the power through Xcel Energy's Solar Rewards Community program, which Xcel says is the nation's largest community solar program.

Xcel customers in the area can subscribe to the solar program and receive a credit on their bill equivalent to the solar energy that their subscription contributes to the Xcel grid.

The county's planning and zoning staff has recommended that the board approve the project.

john Reinan


Luxury development is moving forward

Mayowood Estates, a new luxury subdivision in southwest Rochester, is up for final plat approval by the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners at its meeting this week.

Commissioners will vote on approval of the development's first phase: 24 single-family homesites of between 2 and 6 acres. The project already has been approved by the township and the county planning department.

Mayowood Estates could include as many as 66 homes if fully built out. Property owners in the high-end development will be subject to covenants giving an architectural review committee the right to approve many aesthetic decisions, such as the design and placement of buildings, fences, pools, landscaping and play equipment. Lawns are required to be seeded or sodded in Kentucky bluegrass, and trash cans must be kept out of view.

john Reinan

St. Cloud

County property auction going virtual

Stearns County's fall seized and surplus property auction is transitioning from a traditional live on-site auction to an online format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The county is holding three separate auctions. The first, for surplus office equipment and more, is already underway. The second, starting this week, includes firearms, ammunition and sporting goods. The final auction, starting Friday, Dec. 4, includes surplus and forfeited vehicles and equipment — even a couple of firetrucks.

Details can be found at

Reid Forgrave