Cobleskill signs moratorium on solar, wind


By Patsy Nicosia

Solar, wind, and gas projects are on hold in the Town of Cobleskill through the end of 2023.
After a brief public hearing Monday—no one spoke, though a representative for a solar developer with an option on an unnamed property was in the audience—the Town Board unanimously passed a six-month moratorium “prohibiting the approval or expansion of all renewable energy projects and all energy generating facilities within the Town of Cobleskill including solar, wind or gas energy projects.”
The Planning Board is in the process of reviewing its long-outdated Comprehensive Plan, said Supervisor Werner Hampel; the delay will give members the time they need to write an energy law and decide what should be allowed—or prohibited.
In the Town of Sharon, construction has finally begun on the East Point Energy solar project off Route 20 and Gilbert’s Corners Road.
The state Department of Public Service granted East Point’s Energy’s request for a “notice to proceed with construction of the collection substation, switchyard, and point of interconnection facilities” on May 12.
Tractor trailers have been delivering materials—including panels—to the site. Crews have been grading the sites and “screwing and racking” has begun.
East Point had previously been granted limited notices to proceed—December 2021 for tree clearing and grading and April 2022 for civil and collection line phase construction.
The Towns of Carlisle and Seward have been jointly awarded up to $20,000 in intevenor funding by the state Office of Renewable Energy and Siting to hire the legal firm of Lewis & Greer and the engineering firm of Delaware Engineering to represent them during the review process of the proposed 20-MW Rock District Solar.
Developers Cypress Creek Renewables had originally taken their project, to be built off Brown Road with portions in both towns, to the local Planning Boards for review, but in February, abruptly switched it to ORES review under 94-c state review.
The 50-MW Sharon project was approved by the Public Service Commission in January 2021 under Article 10, 94-c’s predecessor.
Both Article 10 and the even more streamlined 94-c are intended to fast-track the development of “green” energy.