LIMA – It does not look like large scale solar will be coming to Lima after all, though a local law being drafted may make it easier for residents to install private solar.
According to Lima Town Supervisor Pete Yendell, a local law is being drafted by the town’s attorney, Steve Kruk, that will address both private and large scale solar for the town.
“Steve is going to go back and put together a draft for a local law,” said Yendell. “And basically, what I think it’s going to allow is for household solar, it will be fine, but we don’t want any commercial type solar. In Lima, the ten and twenty acre stuff is not what we are looking for, because of the value of the soil for farmland.”
Private solar is currently allowed in Lima under an accessory permit use. The local law being discussed at this time is something that the Town Board hopes will simplify the process for Lima residents seeking to install private solar.
“We’re allowing it right now as an accessory permit use,” stated Lima’s Deputy Supervisor, Cathy Gardner, “but we don’t actually have regulations. So we’ll have regulations that will sort of streamline the process and make it a little easier for people to apply, and that’s the goal. So we’re allowing it now, but the state has a recommended application process and so we’re looking at that and adopting those regulations.”
Large scale solar, on the other hand, is something that the Lima Town Board has been considering since January of 2017. Gardner, who has headed up Lima’s solar discussions, elaborated on the challenge Lima faces when it comes to large scale solar.
“We’re in sort of a unique region here. I mean around the world only 3% of the soil in the whole world is really prime, the very best type of soil, the most productive soil, for agriculture,” said Gardner. “And in our region, in our county, […] we have the highest concentration of those good, agricultural soils of any county in the state. So the resource that we have here for growing food even though we have a lot of it and it seems like it’s all over, it’s really a unique and a very valuable resource for that purpose. Where if you go to Arizona or Nevada where it’s all desert and they can’t grow anything, that’s an ideal resource for solar.”
Yendell said that once Kruk has concluded drafting the law it will go to public hearing.