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Washington County returns solar project to local review

The Post-Star|Evan Lawrence|October 1, 2022
New YorkZoning/PlanningPhotovoltaic Solar
The Washington County Planning Agency decided Tuesday that a proposed 20-megawatt solar energy project in Greenwich is a matter of local concern and returned it to the town’s planning board. White Creek Supervisor Jim Griffith, chairman of the agency, said many people have voiced concerns about staring at solar fields instead of agricultural land, and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Environmental Conservation want to protect fertile farmland.

The Washington County Planning Agency decided Tuesday that a proposed 20-megawatt solar energy project in Greenwich is a matter of local concern and returned it to the town’s planning board.
 
White Creek Supervisor Jim Griffith, chairman of the agency, said many people have voiced concerns about staring at solar fields instead of agricultural land, and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Environmental Conservation want to protect fertile farmland.
 
But he said he also heard repeatedly from farmers, “Don’t tell us what to do with our land.” If farmers want to install photovoltaic facilities on their land, “that’s their right,” he said. “The hope is that they make the solar panels high enough so they can still use the land for grazing” and other farming.
 
The Bald Mountain Solar project, proposed by Boralex, would install solar panels on 140 acres now being used for corn or hay. The land is west of County Road 77 (Bald Mountain Road), north of Thomson Road and bisected by a National Grid transmission ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]
     
The Washington County Planning Agency decided Tuesday that a proposed 20-megawatt solar energy project in Greenwich is a matter of local concern and returned it to the town’s planning board.
 
White Creek Supervisor Jim Griffith, chairman of the agency, said many people have voiced concerns about staring at solar fields instead of agricultural land, and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Environmental Conservation want to protect fertile farmland.
 
But he said he also heard repeatedly from farmers, “Don’t tell us what to do with our land.” If farmers want to install photovoltaic facilities on their land, “that’s their right,” he said. “The hope is that they make the solar panels high enough so they can still use the land for grazing” and other farming.
 
The Bald Mountain Solar project, proposed by Boralex, would install solar panels on 140 acres now being used for corn or hay. The land is west of County Road 77 (Bald Mountain Road), north of Thomson Road and bisected by a National Grid transmission line. If the project receives all approvals, construction could start later this year or early next year and the project would go into service in late 2023.
 
Boralex is a Canadian company that develops, builds, owns and operates renewable energy facilities in North America, France, and the U.K. It operates seven hydropower plants in New York State, including four in this area.
 
The Bald Mountain project has generated significant controversy in the town of Greenwich.
 
The agency also reviewed a solar project proposed at 7849 State Route 22, near its intersection with County Road 31 in Hebron. The developer is Norbut Solar LLC, a solar developer in Rochester. According to its website, it focuses on lands that have been over-farmed, underutilized, distressed or abandoned.
 
The 20-megawatt project would put 86 acres of solar panels on 176 acres with four adjacent, contiguous sites. All the land is a single parcel and agricultural or wooded. Access would be from state Route 22 to the west and County Route 31 to the northwest. The developer is seeking a major subdivision.
 
The agency ruled that it has no jurisdiction at this stage. The developer will have to return to the planning agency for approval of road access.

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://poststar.com/news/loc…

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