Solar is booming as four community solar projects recently gained final approval in the Towns of Montgomery and Crawford.
All projects are community distributed generation, which means any resident within the district can sign up to receive power from the plant. While bills would still be issued by a residents’ utility company, residents would receive a discount on their energy bill.
The power from the projects feeds directly into the energy grid, allowing anyone to access the renewable energy without having to install panels on their own property.
Two of these projects were recently approved in the Town of Montgomery.
Cypress Creek, a two-megawatt system at St. Andrews Rd in Walden, was approved at a planning board meeting on June 24. The 7.4 acres of panels included in the project will power between 300 and 500 homes in the Central Hudson district.
Anne Waling, Zoning and Outreach Coordinator for Cypress Creek, said the St. Andrews Road project is slated for construction in 2020, and clearing will begin this fall.
Waling said Cypress Creek will use a pollinating mix of groundcover under the panels, a common practice for solar farms. The mix provides a habitat for insects essential to agriculture.
Matrix Solar was approved on June 10 for a five-megawatt project along Maple Avenue and NYS Rte. 17K. Providing power for the Central Hudson district, the project will contain about 22 acres of panels.
Project attorney John Cappello said the construction for the Matrix Solar project will begin this fall and will be operational in early 2020.
The Crawford Planning Board approved two solar projects by Cypress Creek at a meeting on June 26.
Svenski Solar is a two-megawatt project with 20 acres of panels on Route 17K, near Collabar Road. The project has the capacity to power between 400 and 500 homes in the Orange and Rockland Utility district.
The Dubois solar project is a two-megawatt facility with approximately 15 acres of panels on Dubois Road, off Route 52. It also has the capacity to power between 400 and 500 homes in the NYSEG district.
Both projects include a one two-megawatt battery facility.
Both projects have a 40-year lifespan, at the end of which the project may be decommissioned.
Project Associate Charles Grady Mecay said construction on the Dubois project will begin within the month and construction for the Svenski project will begin next spring.