Judge lets state decide fate of Copake solar farm
Rick Karlin reports in the Times Union that last week Albany County State Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch denied the town of Copake’s request for a preliminary injunction against a 60-megawatt solar farm, saying that “home rule is not unlimited.” The Chicago-based Hecate Energy wants to build the 255-acre Shepherds Run solar farm. But the town of Copake passed a law in 2017 limiting the size of solar energy projects to ten acres. The original size of the Shepherd's Run project was 500 acres. Many citizens and environmental groups want it smaller, and claimed in this lawsuit that the state’s new fast-track approval process for alternative energy developers wrongfully circumvents local control. Lynch disagreed in his decision saying there was nothing wrong with moving the application from the older Article 10 process for approving new power plants to the faster more streamlined process for renewable energy in which the new state Office of Renewable Energy Siting reviews the plans. Read more about this story in the Times Union.