Members of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation gathered on Wednesday to protest the plan to build Horseshoe Solar Farm in Caledonia and Rush.
Plans to build the solar farm were first announced in 2018, but energy developer Invenergy is still waiting for state approval to begin construction. Opponents have rallied against the plan because the farm would be partially built on sacred Indigenous land.
“Our culture is more spiritual and connected to nature in theory, and so the creatures, the plants, the water, all matter to us,” said Paul Winnie of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, according to 13Wham. “This desecration whether it is a solar plant, wind plant in this area – as far as my ancestor connection, the concern is to express our opinion to have it not here. Move it somewhere else.”
Invenergy said the proposed solar farm could provide renewable energy to 50,000 households. Some people have expressed excitement over the proposed plan and its potential to expand renewable energy usage in the region. Invenergy recently dropped a few hundred acres from its planned layout in an attempt to allay concerns of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation.
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