“The disproportionate siting of large-scale solar projects locally to support the state’s renewable energy goals is “alarming,” according to Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort.
In the annual State of the County address, Ossenfort committed this year to keeping the tax levy flat in light of healthy financial conditions, strengthening tourism initiatives and using federal coronavirus relief aid to invest in infrastructure and quality of life improvements.
The straightforward planning involved in each of those goals stood in contrast to the less certain path the county must follow as Ossenfort seeks to take back local control over decisions on siting large-scale solar projects.
“It is unconscionable that local municipalities have essentially no say in how these industrial level solar facilities are sited,” Ossenfort said. “Frankly speaking, our county is being unfairly targeted and it’s alarming.”
Large-scale solar projects of 25 megawatts or more are subject to the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, which provides the state Office of Renewable Energy Siting the authority to review and approve projects, rather than local planning boards.”
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Onyon, Ashley. Schenectady Daily Gazette 24 April 2022.