Last Tuesday, May 9, solar developer EDF (Electricite de France) Renewables hosted one of the meetings the company is required to hold under the rules established by the State Office of Renewable Energy Siting, known as ORES. Public outreach is a necessary component for developers who hope to build large, utility-scale projects in New York. The framework for these projects is laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, a 2019 executive law passed under the Cuomo administration. Section 94-c of this law allows developers to request exemption from local land-use laws if the developer can prove these local laws to be “overly burdensome” to the effort to meet the state’s Climate Action goals. EDF’s ambitious 2,000 acre-plus project far exceeds the Town of Columbia’s law; thus, the company plans to apply through ORES, having secured leases with several landowners in the town.
The Town of Columbia survey results for the proposed Columbia Solar Project and Battery Storage Facility conducted by mail in March and April are in and have been tabulated. At the request of the Columbia Town Board, the survey was conducted by the Columbia Planning Board to better understand the opinions of the residents and property owners about the proposed solar project that developer EDF Renewables has been pitching in the towns of Columbia, Litchfield and Winfield (Herkimer County) since 2019. Of those that responded with an opinion (oppose or favor the project), 83 percent were opposed. Below is a summary of results:
The Town of Columbia is being pitched a 350 megawatt solar and 20 MW battery storage project by French owned, and San Diego based EDF Renewables. The project outreach to local landowners began quietly in 2019 and will require approximately 2,200 usable, contiguous acres—equal to 10 percent of the land in the Town of Columbia, which is known to have some of the most fertile farmland in the state.
The flood of large solar projects around New York State popping up over the last few years is fueled by the state’s aggressive goal of using 70 percent renewable energy by 2030. In 2019, the state passed and signed into law the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which led to the creation of the Office of Renewable Energy Siting and, through executive law, the 94-c process, in efforts to speed up and ease the permitting process that project developers had long sought.
COLUMBUS – A 46-year-0ld Schuyler Lake woman was airlifted to Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, after a fatal crash shut down Chenango County Route 25 in the Town of Columbus for several hours Saturday morning, Troop C reports.
State Police at Norwich were dispatched to a head-on collision at 1:34 a.m., Saturday.