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Proposed solar power project won’t go into Brocton

BROCTON — A proposed solar power project has pulled out of the village — and officials are looking at a moratorium on solar farms, similar to the one recently passed in the town of Portland.

At its workshop Wednesday, the Brocton Board of Trustees asked Village Attorney Peter Clark to draft a moratorium for the village based on Portland’s recently enacted measure.

Clark noted one important difference between Brocton and Portland: Brocton has a contract with New York State Electric and Gas to provide electricity to its residents, while Portland does not.

“We have to be careful,” he said, while adding that from his reading of Portland’s law, “I don’t think there’s any area for large scale power here.”

Board members agreed to have Clark add a new line: “Large scale solar farming is not permitted.” They also want to ensure, however, that solar panels on private homes are not affected.

In the meantime, there is no apparent interest anymore from Abundant Solar Power in using any village land. It proposed a project last month on a grape farm that straddles the boundary between Brocton and Portland.

Mayor Richard Frost, responding to a question from the audience, said an Abundant representative told him the company has scaled back its proposal to stay exclusively on town of Portland land.

Due to the village contract with NYSEG, “they can’t sell or produce power for the residents of Brocton, which led them in the direction of saying, ‘It’s not worth the fight,'” Frost said.

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