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RENEWABLES Local sentiment clouded by plans

There are understandably mixed feelings about a 90-megawatt, 600-acre solar farm proposed in Busti and Kiantone.

The project is to be built south of Donelson Road and west of Kiantone Road in the Kiantone and south of Burton Road and east of Pine Ridge road in Busti. York Run Solar LLC, an affiliate of CS Energy, has been developing the project since 2020.

It is the biggest local project to be built under state rules approved in April 2020 that created the Office of Renewable Energy Siting to oversee projects larger than 25 megawatts. A permit must be issued within one year of a complete project application being filed. It shrinks the role of local governments in the siting of wind and solar projects and lessens the weight of public comments that are deemed to be “general opposition” in the decision-making process.

Those with issues, then, have to be prepared to act quickly because the old days of submitting comments on a project for years on end are gone. It also means those with concerns or those who support projects must pay attention to the town boards involved to be involved in the 60-day public comment period.

It’s too early to say whether or not the proposed Busti and Kiantone project is good or bad. But we encourage the public to have their say, something the state has made much more difficult with creation of the Office of Renewable Energy Siting.

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