Chisago County Board's real estate update shows solar has no impact on property values


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North Star Solar having no impact on Chisago County property values

When large solar arrays are being installed, it’s quite common to hear from nearby residents that they’re worried about property values being impacted. The 100 MW North Star Solar installation in Chisago County is Minnesota’s largest, and produces enough electricity to power about 20,000 homes. The Chisago County board recently put out a detailed report that even this huge solar array is having no impact on property values! That’s great news for everyone involved. Read on to learn more.

Excerpt from recent County Board real estate update shows no ‘solar effects’ article from Chisago County Press:

Anybody who is trying to sell a home or vacant property is likely pleased with the rebound of real estate in Chisago County, but for staff in the county assessor and auditor offices, sales activity also means updating data and monitoring how it impacts the county’s overall tax capacity.

Data presented at the County Board meeting laid clear one major subset of statistics that county policymakers are keeping a sharp eye on: the impact the biggest solar array in Minnesota is having (or not) on property values.

The assessor reported that the 1,000 acre rural North Branch / Lent substation / Sunrise Township solar energy project known as “North Star” has had no apparent negative impact on surrounding property values.

County Assessor John Keefe said there have been 750-plus property sales throughout the county. Within this data he watched numbers for 15 parcels alongside or close to North Star that have sold.

Keefe and Deputy County Auditor Bridgitte Konrad presented a valuation summary and budget recap to the County Board. Estimates are that the countywide tax base increased within one to 1.2 percent for next year’s payable property tax. And, although the solar effect is not yet a multi-year study, Keefe feels, after analyzing sales near or adjacent to the massive panel array, “There is no adverse impact there.”

The value of sales of properties near North Star, between January 2016 and October 2017— on 375th, 367th, Keystone, Little Oak, Lincoln Trail and Kost Trail were nearly all in excess of assessed. Keefe reported, “It seems conclusive valuation hasn’t suffered.”

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