Energy company rejects county planning board concerns over Knox solar project
Noah Zweifel is reporting for The Altamont Enterprise RIC Energy, the developer of a proposed 4.4 megawatt solar facility on Thompsons Lake Road in Knox, has rejected the concerns of the Albany County Planning Board board, according to a letter sent by the company to the Knox Planning Board. The planning board will meet March 11, and discuss whether to move forward with the proposal in spite of the county's disapproval. In its decision, the county planning board cited eight reasons, including residents’ objections, various local and inter-municpality impacts, unfulfilled bureaucratic requirements, and the proposed facility's visibility from, and proximity to Thacher Park and parcels within an agricultural district. In the letter to the planning board, RIC Energy’s chief executive officer Jonathan Rappe described the county planning board’s conclusions as “erroneous” and out of line with local considerations. Rappe provided supporting documents for most of his assertions. The Enterprise previously reported the Albany County Planning Board rejected the plan for the solar facility, in part because of a new regulation that requires the board to consider the Helderberg viewshed when reviewing projects. Albany County Legislator William Reinhardt, who helped develop the new regulation, said the situation described may be outside the regulation’s scope. Although the county planning board disapproved the project, the Knox Planning Board can vote to move ahead anyway, but it would need support from five members, a supermajority of the 7-member board to move forward. Read the full story in The Altamont Enterprise.