Copake solar farm gets first local criticism
Feb 24, 2020 12:34 am
Diane Valden reports in the Columbia Paper several local residents spoke out at the February 13 Copake Town Board meeting against the giant Hecate Energy solar farm proposed recently near State Route 23 and County Route 7 in Craryville. The 60-megawatt photovoltaic solar array proposed for some portion of 900-acres on the Rasweiler Farm is so large that company officials say it will power 60 percent of Columbia County’s 25,000 households. But local residents speaking out at the meeting were not interested in renewable energy or saving the planet from climate change. Copake Lake resident Lindsay LeBrecht claimed the solar farm project will “push animals” out of their habitats. Paul Parzuchowski was concerned about his financial status saying, “that’s my backyard. My property value will go down. It’s ridiculous. I’m totally against it.” Lisa Pelkey, a 28-year resident of Copake Lake, said the solar farm was the same as the Cricket Valley Energy Center, a 1.1 GW natural gas-fired power plant in Dutchess County. But local voices might not have power to stop the proposal as it is so large, it will get around the local planning board and instead gets approval from the state. Hecate Energy also has a proposal for a large solar project in southern Albany County called Coeymans Solar, and one called the Greene County Solar project in Coxsackie. Read more about this story in the Columbia Paper.