“Do your diligence on plans for solar arrays
Renewable energy is a magic show. Developers draw unsophisticated town boards’ attention away from controversy.
Solar arrays are advertised as pollinator habitats, but the site plan calls for grass and permits pesticides. Developer’s promise the array won’t be visible, but the planting plan fails to hide tens of thousands of solar panels. Applications omit nearby homes, even when residences are clearly in sight.
Developers are responsible to their investors, not the neighbors. Not the environment. Not the town.
They mislead, misrepresent and omit critical information in order to increase their profits. Strong defensible solar laws protect the taxpayers from greedy developers.
NYSERDA’s model solar law is inadequate. Towns should hire attorneys and real estate specialists to provide expert advice.
During application review, taxpayers must ask how will solar panels and lithium ion batteries be disposed of throughout the project’s anticipated 35-year lifetime?
Town boards should be aware that projects are often sold rapidly between investors, who have nothing at stake in the community and are only required to comply with the approved site plan.
I urge taxpayers to contact their town clerk for project documents. Submit written questions about the site plans, resolutions and laws. Attend town meetings and hold the board members accountable before they blindly follow the developers’ tricks.
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Bruning, Lynne Schenectady Gazette 10 July 2021.