Residents of Clifton Park, NY have voiced concerns over a new proposed community solar project in the northwestern corner of the town. The 6.7-megawatt facility is part of Active Solar’s growing portfolio and is planned for an 85-acre site. During a Planning Board meeting, locals shared concerns over the location and size of the installation.
According to Active Solar’s proposed community solar project, the installation would be built north of Hubbs Road and east of Schauber Road, near a residential area of Hubbs Road. The site would have an access road near Hubbs, which would cut through a neighborhood of upscale homes. Currently, the land is empty farmland, and residents would like it to remain as such.
During the Planning Board meeting, several homeowners living on Hubbs Road fear the access road would reduce their property values. To complete the project, Active Solar would need to install power lines that would run up and down the access road. As resident Helen Wilson stated, the community solar site’s infrastructure would “destroy the views.” Lydia Savage, a resident who lives on Schauber Road, feels that a solar installation has no business being built in a residential neighborhood.
Planning Board members were understanding of the aesthetic concerns of the project but retained that they generally agree with the proposal for a solar installation. Ryan Farnum, a representative of Creighton Manning Engineering and the proposal applicant, explained that Hubbs Road has more woods than Schauber Road, allowing the installation and its power lines to be primarily hidden.
To confirm the resident issues with the site, Planning Board members will visit the location and assess the possible impact. While on location, they can determine if additional steps can be taken to reduce the installation’s visual impact.
Active Solar’s proposed community solar project is the sixth it has proposed for Clifton Park. Four were approved and built, and the fifth is still awaiting construction. According to John Scavo, the town’s Planning Director, residents have not raised any concerns about the completed developments.