Location at issue for Hanover solar work

OBSERVER Photo by Anthony Dolce Daniel Compitello from Delaware River Solar presents the proposed solar array in the Town of Hanover at Monday night’s meeting.

HANOVER — During a public hearing earlier this month, Daniel Compitello of Delaware River Solar out of Rochester, along with engineer Rita Kozak explained why the NY Hanover 2 Solar Project had to be moved from a 200-foot setback on the south and east sides of the Angell Road property to instead be closer to the road.

“We’re requesting 138.1 feet from the eastern side of the project from the southernmost parcel,” said Compitello. “And 149.5 feet. So as a reduction, we’re requesting 50.5 feet and 61.9. We’re aware of the 200-foot setback requirement of the town code.”

Compitello said they’ve reviewed the town code since submitting their application initially submitted in July. While Compitello said the company doesn’t normally like requesting exceptions to the code, they feel it is necessary this time.

“We’ve built probably more community solar in the state than any other company has,” said Compitello. “Everything else in our application complies with this.”

According to Compitello, the land owner, Lucas Bell, operates a vineyard, and complying with the setbacks would require the project be shifted up into the vineyard on Bell’s property.

“We’d have to remove that part of the vineyard to make the solar project work to comply with the 200-foot setbacks on the south and eastern sides of the lot,” Compitello said. “The land owner doesn’t want to do that, it’s been a big source of income for them so the reduction of four to six acres of the vineyard would be a detriment to their farming operation.”

Compitello added that there were further benefits to moving the project as they’ve requested, including that moving the project up would move it further from the other houses on the south side of the property. While it would in turn move the project closer to the northern houses, Compitello said that there’s more room to work with in that direction.

“We would be moving them closer to those houses, so the houses that are south of the project are close to 1,000 feet away from the project,” Compitello said. “There’s more area to move the project closer to those houses, while maintaining the 500-foot requirements, which we are still in excess of by a wide margin.”

Bell himself was at the public hearing, and said that moving the grapes on his property wasn’t a feasible endeavor.

“It’s a low-lying area for frost and it’s stagnant for air movement,” Bell said. “I wouldn’t want to move them down there because the risk of frost is so high.”

Ultimately, no action was taken by the Hanover Town Board during Monday night’s meeting, informing Compitello they would try and have resolution at their next meeting on Monday, Feb. 14.


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