NORTH ANNVILLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A global energy company is looking to build a solar farm across 800 acres in Lebanon County, but dozens of people who live nearby are opposed to the plan.

More than 100 people showed up Wednesday night arguing the North Anville Township Board of Supervisors should not approve a conditional use application that would change the landscape of their community.

“If you’re putting solar panels there it totally changes the looks of the land,” Harvey Miller said.

Miller and many of his neighbors want to see the land kept as family farms, not solar farms.

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“The fence that you see going up through there and then the entire thing would be panels,” Miller said.

The North Annville Township board of supervisors spent a second-night hearing testimony of why a conditional use application should be approved allowing the solar panels many fighting against it.

“We’ll be looking directly into two acres of battery storage system, a two-acre, according to the testimony last night, about approximately a two-acre substation,” Grady Summers said.

According to Lebanon Solar, the solar farm would be spread over multiple lots on about 858 acres. It would generate 70 to 105 MW with an expected lifespan of 30 to 35 years. Construction could start in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The statute says that a solar farm must be on 50 or more acres. It does not specify that those 50 or more acres have to be in one parcel,” said a Lebanon Solar representative.

The company says it meets the eight criteria needed to be approved but many disagree.

“We know that 61% of the land is prime agricultural land and taking it out of agriculture production would be both against what is advised in the PAMPC and the regional plan,” Summers said.

The township planning commission recommended that the application be denied based on previous plans but there’s still more testimony to be heard.

“The board is not going to make a decision until they’ve heard all the testimony. And I couldn’t begin to any idea as to I have no ideas where the board will come down on this,” said Paul Bametzreider, township solicitor.

Other issues raised included concerns over several cemeteries being in the boundaries of the solar farm fences and concerns over noise and property values going down.

“Enel Green Power is grateful for the support for the Lebanon Solar Project from the residents of North Annville Township and neighboring communities. As our Conditional Use process continues, we will continue to educate and listen to local leaders and residents in order to develop a project that benefits North Annville Township and Lebanon County,” said Eric Holton, Senior Development Manager, Enel Green Power.