County Planning Board gives OK for solar project in Barre

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2021 at 12:23 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday voted in favor of a proposed 4.5 megawatt solar farm on Route 98 near Lime Kiln Road.

AES DE Devco NC is developer of the project on land owned by Joshua Baird, and Jacob and Melissa Monacelli.

The “Baird Solar Project” will be located at 4360 Oak Orchard Rd., where the developer can tap directly into a 13.2-kilovolt distribution line. The project doesn’t include battery storage.

The site currently is 43.7 acres of farmland and will take 27.11 of active farmland out of production. There will be 14,118 solar panels and they will be surrounded with a 7-foot-high perimeter chain link fence. There will be 40,543 linear feet of low-voltage and 1,258 feet of high-voltage underground wiring. The project also includes a decommissioning plan.

The plan calls for planting 191 deciduous and evergreen trees along with 92 shrubs and pollinators.

The Orleans County Planning Board recommended the Town of Barre approve the site plan and issue a permit for the project.

In other referrals on Thursday, the Planning Board:

Recommended the Town of Murray approve variances for the Big Guys Camping project at the former Brockport Country Club on the Monroe-Orleans County Line Road in Murray.

In some locations on the property, Big Guys is seeking variances from the 20 feet required for rear and front setbacks, and also is seeking 50-foot lot frontage for RV sites and 30 feet for tent sites when 60 feet are required, per Murray’s code.

The Planning Board in June recommended Murray approve the site plan and issue a permit for the project, which includes three phases, with the first phase 125 full hook-ups and 90 tent sites. Phase two includes 97 more full hook-ups and the third phase is 72 more full hook-ups.

The camping sites will be developed along the existing fairways to preserve as many trees as possible and minimize earthwork, planners said.

Supported the Town of Gaines request to extend a moratorium on applications for large-scale battery storage systems. The moratorium gives Gaines officials more time to study and develop a local law for the battery storage systems.

Recommended the Town of Albion approve the site plan and issue a permit for a 4-site private campground at 3440 Transit Rd. Brian and Diane Speers own the property and want to have 4 RV sites for family members.