4 solar projects in Orleans get OK from Planning Board

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2021 at 10:05 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday voted in favor of four solar projects in county with two in Albion, one in Kendall and one in Carlton.

The Planning Board recommended each town accept the site plans and issue permits for the projects. The projects are all on land that is currently being farmed.

In Albion, a 5-megawatt project with about 40,000 solar panels is proposed at 3852 Long Bridge Rd., on land owned by Brad Bokman near Route 31. The solar arrays will generate enough power for about 700-900 homes, a company representative said by Zoom videoconferencing during Thursday’s meeting.

U.S. Light and Energy in Latham, NY, will use 66 acres of a 92-acre parcel for the ground-mounted solar system. The project includes electrical equipment with transformers on concrete pads, an accessory building, 1,560 linear feet of electrical line, a chain-link fence and an access drive off Long Bridge Road. The landscaping plan also calls for 553 plants, with 292 Wichita Blue Juniper trees.

County planners recommended Albion require an existing berm on the property’s western border remain to provide a buffer for a neighboring house made of Medina sandstone in the Greek Revival architectural style. That house would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, according to a letter from Oct. 16, 2020 from Robyn Sedgwick, historic site restoration coordinator for the State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

• The other project in Albion is at 3858 Gaines Basin Rd., on land owned by Donna Laubacher. This site is just south of Allen Road.

The 2.5 megawatt solar system with about 8,100 solar panels would use 15.6 acres of the land. AES DE DevCo NC LLC is the developer. The company is based in Louisville, Colo.

AES said the project is expected to have a useful life of 25 years or longer. The landscaping plan includes 470 deciduous and evergreen trees with 183 Northern White Cedars, along with shrubs and pollinators.

• In Kendall, a 5-megawatt project is proposed for 27 acres on Center Road on land owned by Lance Manville of Hilton.

The developer of the project is DG New York LLC, based in Juno Beach, Fla. The project is at 1770 Center Rd., the northwest intersection of Center Road and Kenmore Road.

• In Carlton, a 4.4 megawatt project would be on 26.7 acres at 13759 Waterport-Carlton Rd., land owned by Michael and Jessica Connor.

The developer of the project is Omni Navitas Holdings LLC in Boston, Mass.

The company is proposing 12,700 solar panels, new electrical equipment including four transformers on concrete pads, and 2,417 feet of underground electrical wiring. There would be an access drive on Park Avenue. The solar system would be surrounded with a chain-link fence.