October 22, 2021

C’ville board: Solar project requires environmental impact statement

Solar Panel Stock photo

Metro Creative stock image

A detailed environmental impact statement will be required for a proposed 2-megawatt, 12-acre solar project on McLean Road in Cortlandville, the town’s Planning Board ruled Tuesday.

The board determined that components of the project, including its effect on agricultural resources, require developer C2 Energy Capital of New York to complete a State Environmental Quality Review process, it told the developer’s attorney, Mark Sweeney of Delmar.

Cortlandville Town Attorney John DelVecchio said it may take somewhere from 60 to 90 days for the statement to be prepared.

The application for the project was submitted in the fall and comments gathered in December at a public hearing. Since then, Sweeney has been working to review questions and was ready to submit answers in March when the town canceled planning board meetings until June because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In that time, the Zoning Board of Appeals, town board and developer agreed the planning board would be the lead agency in the SEQR.

“Electricity demands in New York continue to escalate,” Sweeney said. This project will aid that through a clean energy source.

Sweeney, a Delmar-based lawyer representing C2 Energy Capital of New York, said the project will be another step in helping Central New York become a leader in solar energy.

If approved, the project would join more than 165 megawatts in other solar projects that either under construction or in development in Cortland County:

• A $90 million, 90-megawatt project proposed for Homer, Cortlandville and Solon.

• A $29.1 million, 10-megawatt project in Cortland and Cortlandville.

• A $22.1 million, 20-megawatt project in Willet.

• A $27 million, 15-megawatt project in Lapeer.

• A project of up to 20 megawatts in Cincinnatus.

• Two 5-megawatt projects on Riley Road in Cortlandville.

• At least five, and possibly six, projects on properties owned by Gutchess Lumber in Cortlandville.