On October 27th, members of the Town Board and the Planning Board watched the webcast of the Siting Board vote to approve the site certification for the Garnet solar project. Along with the Siting Board's approval, was an "ORDER GRANTING CERTIFICATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL COMPATIBILITY AND PUBLIC NEED, WITH CONDITIONS” document that describes, in part, project areas that require additional action by Garnet to comply. The document is 252 pages in length. The Town, together with its support resources, will be reviewing the document in the coming weeks to learn of the conditions that are required to be addressed by Garnet. Below are points from a cursory review:
1) There is a difference in the estimated cost of wetland restoration between the NYSDEC and Garnet. Specifically, there is a $2.65 million cost difference between the NYSDEC estimate and Garnet’s estimate. The Siting Board is requiring Garnet to mitigate the impacts to all wetland areas, regardless of whether they are mapped or not.
2) The Siting Board found the proposed visual mitigation to be inadequate and is also requiring Garnet to provide landscape screening to at least three private residences and along certain stretches of road.
3) The Siting Board will not allow construction work to occur on Sundays.
4) Garnet must allow the Town to hire an engineering firm (if desired) to assist the Building Code Enforcement Officer in reviewing the final site plan drawings, building permit application, etc.
More information will be shared as it is evaluated and becomes available. For questions/comments you can contact the Town Supervisor Charlie Knapp at 315-776-8031.