CONQUEST, N.Y. (NCC News) — Conquest New York will be the new home of the Garnet Energy solar farm. The future 200-megawatt facility was approved by the state and will be one of largest of its kind. The project will cover nearly 2,300 acres in the town as part of the state’s climate and clean energy initiative. The project will cost nearly $215 million.
Charles Knapp, the town supervisor, said there will be an adjustment, “this changes our whole landscape. I mean we’re a farming community.”
Some residents in farming community have voiced their concerns at various public comments. Residents have cited complaints of future property value with solar panels in their backyards.
Rory Christian, the siting board chair, sent out a statement through the department of environmental conservation earlier this week showing support for the new facility saying that the project is vital in meeting carbon reduction targets in the state.
“The Garnet Energy solar farm and other renewable energy projects built or currently under development are vital to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s aggressive carbon reduction and clean energy targets to combat climate change,” said Christian. “This solar farm will benefit all New Yorkers by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, boosting clean-energy investment, creating clean-energy jobs, and improving our environment.”
Even though the project has already been approved, Knapp said the state never gave Conquest the proper representation on the siting board, “the Article 10 process clearly states that two people from the town would be on that board to represent the town, and that never happened.”
Although conquest was never able to gain those seats on the board Knapp said the project still brings some positives. “I’m going to be pushing to help everybody we can with that funding.”
The project will bring in an extra nearly 300,000 dollars a year used for improvements at places like the fire department and the municipal center. The project set to begin in 2023.
Knapp said he has one goal in mind, “If we’re going to be forced to take this thing and we’ve got to make it the best possible, beneficial project for the town across.”