Ruggirello Solar, a two-megawatt solar facility on St. Andrews Road in Walden, faced its first public hearing in a planning board meeting on Jan. 28.
The utility-scale solar facility contains 7.4 acres of panels and is capable of powering between 300 and 500 homes in the Central Hudson District.
Residents brought up several concerns, including safety and impacts on noise, property values and visual impacts.
Anne Waling, Cypress Creek Zoning and Outreach Manager, assured residents the facility is safe and there are no hazardous materials in the panels.
While there haven’t been extensive studies in New York, national studies show utility-scale solar facilties have no effect on neighboring properties, Waling said. The property will be screened from one side of the site, but another requires further study.
Herbicide will be used in the first three years for the pollinator habitat underneath the panels, but Cypress Creek will use the least amount possible of natural substances.
A continuation of the public hearing will be at town hall on Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.