Rivian looks to add south parking lot and solar array to Normal plant
The Normal Planning Commission this week will hear plans to add an 1,100-space parking lot and a solar array outside Rivian’s manufacturing plant.
The parking lot would be located on the south side of Rivian’s plant, adjacent to College Avenue. The electric automaker has a traffic-impact study underway to determine what traffic control may be required at the access point from College Avenue to the parking lot. That study is also accounting for the design of the upcoming reconstruction of College Avenue, town staff said. Study results and improvement plans would need to be approved by town staff and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Most employee parking is now located in a remote lot on the north side of the plant. Employees take a shuttle or walk up to a half-mile to the entrance. Rivian is McLean County's second-largest employer.
Meanwhile, a company called U.S. Solar wants to add a solar array on 15 acres just east of Rivian’s test track.
Rivian proposes to plant native pollinator habitat under the panels, which would consist of wildflowers and native grasses, town staff said. By planting native flowers and grasses, the solar array area would have a positive impact on pollinators and the environment in general, town staff said.
The Normal Planning Commission will hear plans for both projects at its 5 p.m. Thursday meeting.