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State review board set to hold hearing on solar farm planned for Conquest this week

The state review board that decides if the project to build a solar farm in Cayuga County will move forward is set to hold an evidentiary hearing this week.

The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment will hold a hearing on the morning of Friday, May 6, according to The Citizen. The purpose of the hearing is to admit evidence into the record for the board to consider ahead of its final decision.


Related: State officials raise concerns about impact of Conquest solar farm project

The hearing comes after filings from state officials and local groups raised concerns about potential problems with developer NextEra Energy Resources’ plan to build a massive solar farm in the town of Conquest. NextEra’s plan includes a 200-megawatt solar power plant on a project area of roughly 1,900 acres.

Michael Saviola, an associate environmental analyst with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, gave testimony in late March that said not enough was done to limit the project’s acreage and affect on nearby farmland. Two biologists with the state DEC, Matthew Walter and Jean Foley, submitted testimony raising concerns over the project’s potential affect on local wetlands.

NextEra filed testimony refuting claims from a state Department of Agriculture and Markets official, DEC scientists and the Rural Preservation and Net Conservation Benefit Coalition, a group of local residents opposed to the project.

Related: Will Cayuga County get its solar plant?


The siting board stated several parties with no official role in the review process have yet to sign off on NextEra’s latest project revisions, including the town of Conquest. The board has a deadline of November 1, 2022 to make a final decision on the project application.



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