NEWPORT, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Canadian-based company Boralex is continuing its plans for a 130-Megawatt Solar Energy Facility to be located in the Towns of Deerfield and Newport.
At October 11th’s Town Board meeting, residents voiced their concerns with solar development and the impact this proposed project will have on their town. This is why some residents are calling for a local solar law to be adopted, looking at the Town of Deerfield’s document as an example.
“They gave us a copy of theirs they did 13 months of research with their attorney and its a good law and they are further along in the process than we are but if we get that on the books now we have a better chance at stopping it,” said Maureen Damone, Town of Newport resident.
The concerns of Newport echo what Deerfield residents have discussed at their meetings, and after many residents attended the recent Boralex open house, they have heightened concerns after the information they learned.
“Their allowed to use weed killers and they’ve admitted to us that they will use them and that would be 12 to 13 acres that would be coming down they are uphill of a lot of us would be coming down into our drinking water into our streams it displaces the deer and wild turkey we depend on deer for food and they’re going to be gone. Also, there is a tremendous fire risk” said Maureen.
Damone explains that not only do they not get a tax break or the electricity from the project, but there will also be 7 miles of the wiring going through their property, and it’s raising worry that this will open the door for more development, which is why residents are pushing for a solar law.
Members of the Deerfield Preservation Coalition and the Solar Committee were present, explaining their study into solar development, with Greg Sacco explaining that in his research using numbers from the New York Independent System Operator (ISO) and the State Energy Research and Development Authority shows the solar development will not be efficient.
“So, when you look at the Boralex project there’s 130 megawatts if it runs at 13 percent capacity factor which is NYSERDA and the ISO’s numbers, The average home in NYS uses 840 KWH per month. They will produce enough energy on 53 acres of land each day to supply roughly enough power for one home per month,” said Sacco.
As a result, the planning board will look over the Town of Deerfield solar law with their attorney and cultivate a law that fits Newport, resulting in a vote in the near future.