Realtor Jeffrey Lease presented his case for why a solar farm should be built on a family-owned property during this week’s Town of Newburgh planning board meeting.
He proposed building a solar farm on the site where Darrigo’s Landscape and Building Supplies is located.
The business is experiencing transition, as it remains in the youngest member of the Darrigo family’s hands with no heirs.
Lease’s passion for the potential project showed during his presentation to the town planning board.
“This project is really part of a larger New York state project, which the governor of New York State decided that the state should get to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030,” he said, referring to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to generate 50 percent of the state’s electricity through solar and other forms of renewable energy.
Lease explained why solar energy is the way of the future.
“It’s an exciting thing that’s happening right now,” he said. “With solar energy, you would be able to provide power consistently in case of emergencies.”
Tax incentives have made this venture possible, according to Lease.
“The solar farms would not have been able to have been built without going to tax credits,” he said. “Financially, this wouldn’t have worked.”
The farm is designed to bring in commercial businesses, which will harness the power of solar energy.
Members of the board were in awe of his presentation, but still had their questions about the project.
Kenneth Mennerich stated that the project was “not feasible” due to the fact that a limited number of businesses have embraced solar energy in the Town of Newburgh.
The project has already been approved by Central Hudson and must undergo approval from the Department of Energy Conservation before going into construction. This is estimated to take up to two years.
If approved, a DEC Former Hazardous Waste Site on the property will continue to be carefully monitored to avoid contamination.