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Shepherd’s Run solar project application rejected

Feb 08, 2024 12:55 am

Lana Bellamy reports in the Times Union that the state Office of Renewable Energy Siting rejected the Shepherd’s Run solar project application on Feb. 6, about a month after a group of farmers bought a portion of land slated for the solar panels. The Hecate company wanted to put a solar array on about 220 acres of an 880-acre footprint along and around routes 23 and 7 in Craryville that would have provided 60 megawatts of power to a nearby New York State Electric & Gas substation. That would have been enough to power 15,000 homes annually without fossil fuel emissions. Copake Supervisor Richard Wolf said, “This is a welcome decision, but it’s certainly not the end of the story,” The decision dismissed the Hecate application without prejudice, so the company can still submit a new proposal for the site. Wolf said, “As I’ve been saying all along, we are not in any way opposed to renewable energy, we just think that the way this was sited — the location of the site and the fact that it was too big for our little town — so the question becomes how can we make this like a win-win?” Town officials, and many members of the community, opposed the project, worried about home values dropping nearby, and using environmental arguments against the renewable energy project. Linda Senk, a member of an opposition group called Sensible Solar for Rural New York, said, “From the outset, the proposed project went against local ordinances and the wishes of the community.... The pivotal loss of a 60-acre parcel from the project was Hecate’s responsibility alone. We agree with ORES Executive Director Houtan Moaveni that Hecate Energy LLC failed to act transparently at a critical point in the process.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.