Three more solar projects proposed in the county | News, Sports, Jobs
The Chautauqua County Planning Council is currently reviewing three more solar projects.
During this week’s Planning Board meeting, members were briefed on a solar project at 5246 Route 76 in Ripley, one at 9824 Route 60 in the town of Pomfret and one for Angell Road in the town of Hanover. . Last month Hanover officials discussed the Angell Highway project and in November Pomfret held a public hearing on the Highway 60 project.
It is proposed that all three projects be 5 megawatts or less. Ripley’s is different from the 270 megawatt solar project proposed in the same town. This project has been overdue for over a year. County Planning Council Chairman Douglas Bowen, who is also Ripley’s city supervisor, said that due to the size of the proposed 270-megawatt solar project, the state must give approval for it to go forward.
“Anything over 20 megawatts is subject to state scrutiny,” he said.
In a presentation to the county planning council, senior planner Matthew Bourke discussed some of the criteria used when evaluating solar projects.
He said the planning department is looking at agricultural impacts, visual impacts on neighboring residences, impacts on trails, if this creates a loss of forest land, what the solar law is for this municipality, and what the plan is. decommissioning and estimated costs. Usually, the county planning department helps determine if the project is of local interest or needs additional approvals. If it is a local issue, it is returned to the local municipality for final approval.
Other issues that the county planning department regularly reviews include impacts on wetlands, impacts on airports, whether there is a flood zone, details of road access, maintenance and maintenance plan. operation, and to ensure that there is a plan for a pollinator-friendly plantation after the solar project is built.
Bourke discussed the Angell Road project in more detail. He noted that the solar project site is 50 acres but the project will be placed on 12 to 13 acres of land. The upper half of the site contains vineyards, but the project is placed on vacant farmland.
This project has a decommissioning cost of $ 67,500, estimated at $ 120,000 over 30 years, using an inflation rate of 2%. This particular estimate of decommissioning does not include salvage value.
Pantelis Panteli, deputy director of public facilities, said dismantling renewable energy projects is a problem for many municipalities. “We asked New York State to develop a policy to protect us. We want something to protect all the counties ”, he said.
The county planning department recently reviewed a number of solar projects. Since May, there have been at least five more that have been taken to the Planning Council. One was at 4542 Baker St. in Busti, one on Barnes Road in Stockton, one at 4545 VanBuren Road in Pomfret and two solar projects in the city of Portland, both near the intersection of Highway 20 and Pecor / Fay Street.
According to Bourke, the planning department determined those five projects to be local concerns and provided informal feedback to each municipality for each project. It was up to each municipality to approve the project.