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Fredonia moving ahead with solar farm talks

Fredonia continues to explore a proposal to erect a solar farm on village property, in exchange for electricity from the site.

Now, project sponsor Siemens Energy wants to look at expanding the proposal.

Fredonia Trustee James Lynden offered an update at this week’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“I had Mark Gugliemi from the legal department (Webster Szanyi) do some background work. We did find this would be an extraterritorial land use and the zoning would then be from the town of Pomfret,” Lynden said. The site is village-owned land on Glasgow Road in the town of Pomfret.

“We would ask, under the matter of a governmental committee, that the town either grant us immunity from the zoning, or they (could) require us to apply for a zoning variance … it’s of public interest, a public benefit project,” Lynden said.

He asked his fellow trustees if they wanted Guglielmi to address the issue with Pomfret. They agreed.

“We all agreed that was a project we wanted to go forward with,” Trustee Jon Espersen said.

In addition, Lynden said project sponsors Siemens are interested in using 17 acres owned by the village, near its wastewater treatment plant on Route 5, for a second solar farm.

“I assume we’d probably have to have, with the town of Dunkirk, a notice of intent,” Lynden said. He said Guglielmi could address that, too. Trustees agreed.

“(Siemens) would then move forward to see how viable that is to give us a cost projection and see … what kind of value we’d see from that project at the wastewater plant,” Lynden said.

As with the Glasgow Road array, the village would get the power before it enters the National Grid system. Lynden noted that a project on the wastewater plant site likely wouldn’t produce any excess power that the village could sell, because the plant uses a lot of power.

“Even if it paid for the electric down there (at the wastewater plant), it would be well worth it,” Espersen said.

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