Hochul signs Hinchey bill earmarking solar fees to preserve farmland
Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that Gov. Kathy Hochul last week.signed a new law mandating that fees paid to New York by solar companies that convert agricultural land into solar farms will now go toward preserving other farmland. The fees previously went into the general fund. But now the money goes to the Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund, created by a bill sponsored by state Sen. Michelle Hinchey. The Saugerties Democrat got the bill unanimously accepted n both the state Senate and Assembly last summer. Since 2000, 750 large commercial or industrial solar projects have been funded through the state, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency. “(I) look forward to ensuring that we continue to work to create a future centered on locally sourced, healthy food and incentivize smart solar development without eliminating our finite agricultural resources,” Hinchey said. Read the full story in the Times Union.