PITTSFORD — A handful of developers are looking to develop three solar arrays in town.
Two of the projects have outputs of 500 kilowatts — one on Plains Road, the other on Parker Road — and one is a 2.2 megawatt field to be built on Kendall Hill Road. None have yet filed for a certificate of public good with the Public Utility Commission, however, each has filed a 45-day notice of their intent to do so.
Town Manager John Haverstock said the town has talked to the developer behind the Plains Road project, but has yet to hear from the others. The Select Board typically has solar developers meet with the Planning Commission first.
All three projects are on the agenda for discussion at the Rutland Regional Planning Commission’s Nov. 17 meeting. The RRPC doesn’t approve or deny projects, but does offer its opinion of whether or not a project conforms to regional plans.
ER Kendall Hill SolarER Kendall Hill Solar LLC, backed by Encore Renewable Energy, saw its 45-day notice filed with the PUC on Nov. 9. As proposed, it will occupy 10 acres of a 139-acre parcel. Kendall Hill Road is 130 feet to the south of the project and, while visible from the road, will be largely screened from view by the planting of trees. It will require the 200-foot extension of a 3-phase power line. A temporary staging area will be cleared for delivery of construction material, but nothing will be over-sized or larger than what the local roads already handle, according to the filing.
The full certificate of public good filings are more in-depth than the 45-day notices and can feature changes from what was initially proposed. According to the notice, a certificate of public good application won’t be filed before Dec. 12.
Plains Road project
The project proposed by GHPS LLC, was on file with the Public Utility Commission in July. It proposes a 500-kilowatt net-metering project for 598 Plains Road, the site of a recycling facility that abuts town-owned land.
Haverstock said that the town has been talking with the developer about removing about a dozen pine trees on town property that are currently providing too much shade for the project to be feasible. He said nothing has been finalized yet, but as things stand the developer would agree to pay the town $10,000 to be allowed to cut the trees, provided the site is cleaned up afterward, not just of the trees but of the parcel itself. He said the county forester has looked at the situation on the town’s behalf and determined these trees aren’t worth anything monetarily and are past their prime.
According to minutes of the Oct. 7 Select Board meeting, board members have inspected the project area alongside developers, plus the Planning Commission has expressed its unanimous approval of the project.
DRC Solar on Parker Road
DRC Solar, backed by Casella Construction, is proposed to be built on a three-acre portion of an existing, active gravel pit. It’s 45-day notice went up on the Public Utility Commission’s website on Nov. 3.
Like the other two projects, the developer claims the construction materials needed won’t cause existing roads and undue issues or strain. Some trees will be removed, but given the gravel pit has been active since the late 1980s it’s not expected that the solar project will impact the area’s aesthetics.