Valatie Planning Board opens public hearing on Seaboard Solar project
Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper that the Valatie Planning Board's public hearing on an application from Seaboard Solar for a solar panel project on Running Creek Road, in Kinderhook and Stuyvesant, opened on September 15. Pedro Rodriguez, from Seaboard, based in New Milford, Conn., presented the plan at the meeting. The proposal calls for the use of about 65 acres of a 140-acre farm for solar panels. Rodriguez said Seaboard Solar will buy the land and has an agreement with the farmer to continue farming the parcel. Steve Wilson from Bohler Engineering presented images of what the site would look like with tree cover around the panels and how far the panels are from the nearest house. Several neighbors attended the hearing and expressed their concerns about the project. They questioned the decision to install them on what they called “prime farmland” and had concerns about chemicals from the equipment contaminating their water. There was also a discussion about the upkeep of the current solar panel farm on Route 9 and what the company would do with damaged panels. Residents also had concerns about the potential for fires at the installation. Rodriguez said in the 10 years he had been with the company there had never been a fire at any of their sites. He also said his company has created a decommissioning account for when the time comes to remove the panels in 25 or 30 years. The board adjourned the public hearing to be reopened October 20. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.