According to representatives of Eden Renewables, Gloversville’s Pine Brook Golf Club is being eyed for a new community solar array. However, issues with a public hearing notification forced previously acquired Planning Board approval to be rescinded. Due to the oversight, the hearing and further board action will be pushed to September.
Eden Renewables attorney, Hyde Clarke, stated that the Planning Board’s approval to subdivide the course was received on Aug. 4 after a public hearing. Unfortunately, a notice of public hearing, which is required to authorize any additional actions by the Planning Board, was not published. Anthony Casale, City Attorney, confirms that the legal notice that officially announces the public hearing information was submitted to The Leader-Herald, but it never went to publication.
Rezoning is required for the community solar array as the planned development location is public property. According to city code, a solar farm does not fall within residential zoning and can only be built on commercial property. Initially, Common Council sought to rezone the entire 155-acres, but Gloversville property owners petitioned the motion. Instead, council members have reconsidered the idea of rezoning only the section of the property needed for the community solar farm.
The new subdivision plans will see Pine Brooke Golf Club split into four parcels. Eden Renewables is seeking to develop a solar farm on 57-acres that sit at the center of the property. The array would stretch approximately 35 acres and have 15 to 20′ gaps between each array. The farm would also have 8.5′ solar panel modules solar panel modules designed to follow the sun’s path. Eden hopes to be able to reach a capacity of around 7.5 megawatts, which would be capable of powering over 1,200 homes.
Along with reducing the stress on the environment, the community solar arrays would provide monetary benefits to homeowners. Anyone subscribed to the solar far would receive approximately 10 to 15% off their monthly utility bills.
While developers are eager to start construction, the Planning Board has raised concerns regarding the visual impact the farm may have. In response, developers have suggested walking trails and community gardens that can be accessed by the public.
The new public hearing on the rezoning of the golf course is currently scheduled for Sept. 1.