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Shepherd’s Run gets draft permit approval

Oct 30, 2023 1:03 am

Raymond Pignone reports for Columbia-Greene Media that on Oct. 26 New York's Office of Renewable Energy Siting granted a draft permit to Hecate Energy for the large Shepherd’s Run Solar Farm in Copake. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting said the project complies with environmental laws and follows state regulations and conditions. The office is a relatively new state body, designed to get renewable energy projects needed statewide easier approval when they often face local opposition. That was the case in Copake, Town Supervisor Jeanne Mettler vowed to continue that opposition against a final permit for the project. Mettler said, “Despite years of opposition by all levels of local government and most of Copake’s residents, ORES has chosen to ignore the community’s concerns and issue a draft permit for the proposed Shepherd’s Run Solar project.... In doing so, ORES recommends waiving local laws intended to protect wildlife, agriculture, wetlands and community character. The town disagrees strongly with ORES’ decision to elevate the interest of a private developer over the prospect of serious adverse impacts." In May, In May, Copake and a dozen other municipalities failed in state Appellate Court with a lawsuit alleging ORES fast-tracks the siting process and violates the state Environmental Quality Review Act. Shepherd’s Run is a 60-megawatt solar energy farm near the 115 kilowatt substation owned by New York State Electric and Gas in Craryville. Now the Office of Renewable Energy Siting, "staff takes the position that the proposed facility, together with the uniform and site-specific standards and conditions contained in the draft permit condition, would comply with applicable laws and regulations." Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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