Solar Ordinance

Sat, Jun 5, 2021 • Harrison

Please see attached comments from the Purchase Environmental Protective Association (PEPA) regarding the draft solar energy ordinance being proposed by the Town/Village of Harrison.  It was referred to the Town Board by the Planning Board and is scheduled for a public hearing at the upcoming Town/Village Harrison Board Meeting on June 17th at 7 pm.
 
Town/Village Harrison Board
1 Heinemen Place
Harrison, NY 10528
 
Re: KM_C554e-20210430122836 (harrison-ny.gov)
 
Dear Supervisor Belmont and Members of the Town Board:
 
This letter is submitted on behalf of the Purchase Environmental Protective Association (“PEPA”). PEPA is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of our environment and the preservation of our community’s character. 
 
We have become aware of a solar ordinance that will govern the installation of solar projects in our community. PEPA would like to voice its support and commend the Town Board for providing a framework to further the development of solar, and specifically Community Solar, in our community while preserving open spaces and preserved woodlands. Solar energy provides clean locally produced energy which improves grid resiliency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Local development of solar energy would allow Harrison to align itself with New York State’s goals of 70% renewable energy generation by 2030.  To this end, NYS has incentivized solar development through Community Solar by creating mechanisms to encourage this type of project. Community solar would benefit Harrison’s residents for the above-mentioned reasons but would also provide Harrison community members the ability to subscribe to local projects, and in turn receive a 10% discount on their electricity bill from ConEdison.
 
We feel that solar energy can be a positive land use, especially when used on existing impervious services given solar energy projects do not generate wastewater, increase traffic or require curb cuts. However, since the technology is evolving we suggest that the Town Board continue to speak with local stakeholders to better understand the benefits and constraints of solar energy.  Finally, PEPA encourages research for solar installations at the airport. Recent news reports show airports possess treeless swathes of open space and rooftops making them an ideal host for large-scale solar installations and some will provide enough energy to power cities.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Very truly yours,

Anne Gold, Executive Director

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