A community solar project was recently proposed by NY Solar 1000, LLC, in the Town of Shawangunk.
All projects are community distributed generation, which means any resident within the district can subscribe to receive power from the plant. While bills would still be issued by residents’ utility company, residents would receive credits for 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.
Located at NYS Route 52, the 2.5-megawatt plant contains about 3.4 acres of panels and has the potential to power about 380 homes in the NYSEG district, Commercial Director for the Applicant Tom Brown said.
The panels will be contained in a 9.3-acre fenced-in area surrounded by a line of tree plantings. The fenced-in area will be leased from the current owner, E&L Farms. The project requires no tree clearing and will be constructed on reclaimed mining land.
Currently existing vegetation cover will be maintained underneath the solar panels by mowing and potentially sheep grazing, according to the project Environmental Assessment Form. Seed mix will be used in and around the array for erosion and sediment control. No herbicides will be used.
The expected life of the project is between 25 and 35 years, Brown said. The Town of Shawangunk zoning code requires a decommissioning plan for every solar project.
The project is being developed under New York-Sun, a major component of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). REV set a goal of 70 percent state-wide renewable energy generation by 2030 through mobilizing private capital for clean energy projects.
The project will undergo a public hearing at town hall on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.