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Waterloo Town Board plans to be ready for large solar project

If rumored plans for a large, commercial solar project in the town turn out to be true, the Town Board doesn’t want to be caught with its panels down.

The board voted 4-0 Monday to schedule a public hearing for Feb. 25 to introduce a yet-to-be-written local law to govern solar energy system projects in the town.

Supervisor Don Trout said a company called NextEra Energy Resources is rumored to be interested in buying a large tract of land in the Packwood, Serven, Border City and Pre-Emption road area in the west end of the town. It is said to be interested in 125 to 500 acres to host hundreds of solar panels to produce electricity to add to the power grid.

The proposed local law would add a new chapter to the town code to give town officials and developers guidelines, such as requiring a performance bond for 20 years to make sure the project isn’t abandoned after 10 or 15 years. That bond would have to be renewed after 15 years.

Another guideline would designate solar facilities for non-prime farmland with marginal soil quality.

The board also approved a motion naming itself as lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review Act process for the local law and inviting other interested and eligible agencies to also express interest in being lead agency.

Board members were given copies of the full Environmental Assessment Form, Part 1, under SEQRA for the local law for their review and possible action at a future meeting.

The Finger Lakes Times:
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