Glenville seeking to extend solar moratorium | News | – The Daily Gazette

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GLENVILLE — An expiring moratorium adopted by Glenville lawmakers two years ago preventing the installation of large-scale solar arrays in certain parts of town may be extended through 2025.

Lawmakers first approved the moratorium in 2022, effectively blocking the construction of large-scale solar arrays in the town’s Solar Energy Farm Overlay District, which was established in 2021 as a way to create “responsible development” of land near substations throughout town.

The moratorium, which was adopted to give the town time to review its solar law as it relates to the overlay district, is set to expire in June. But it could be extended until Dec. 8, 2025 if the extension is approved.

Supervisor Chris Koetzle said there are still concerns about large-scale solar arrays in town, noting that residents have been displeased with the construction of arrays along Freemans Bridge Road and in the area of Bolt Road.

Those projects were allowed to advance since they were in development prior to the moratorium being adopted.

“We’re getting a lot of negative comments, so it makes sense to extend this a little bit longer,” Koetzle said.

He added extending the moratorium will allow the projects, which are still under construction, to be completed, giving the town time to collect additional feedback from residents that can inform future legislation.

Concerns over large solar arrays have continued to percolate throughout Schenectady County and other communities throughout the region in recent years due to concerns that the systems would disrupt ecosystems and lead to diminished property values.

The nearby town of Rotterdam currently has a moratorium in place blocking the construction of large-scale solar arrays to give a special committee there time to draft updated legislation. The town also has moratoriums in place preventing battery energy storage systems and wind energy systems from being constructed.

To the west, the town of Duanesburg adopted new solar regulations following a lengthy moratorium of its own last year. Lawmakers in the rural town considered banning large solar arrays outright, but changed course over concerns the move would encourage larger projects the town would not be able to regulate.

Under state law, solar arrays 25 megawatts or more are not required to go through the local permitting process. Those between 20- and 25-megawatt arrays have the option to go through either the local permitting process or through the state’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting.

Koetzle said he shares concerns that the state could permit a larger project to move forward, but noted current substations in town lack the capacity.

“I don’t think practically it will be an issue,” he said. “It certainly can be an issue because the state likes to just come in and do what they want to do.”

A public hearing on the proposed moratorium extension is scheduled for March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center.

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