The Town Board of the Town of Geneseo has voted to approve a proposal for a solar farm that would be about 450 feet from the Conesus Lake northwest shore, on a 64 acre parcel that lies between West Lake Rd. and Lakeville-Groveland Rd., adjacent to Deer Run winery. Although the parcel is about 60 acres, only about 40 acres would be used for the solar project,
The vote came after much controversy over the past few months. Approval of the solar farm, run by Helios Energy, would mean a ten per cent energy savings would be afforded to the town residents. However, the “downside” of having the solar farm is that many feel it will be unsightly in a tourism area, and has the potential to pollute Conesus Lake with cadmium pollution from damages panels or concentrated runoff.
Joseph Hens, of Ingalls and Associates LLP, builders of the farm for Michigan based company addressed those issues in a letter to the Geneseo Town Planning Board saying that they would provide screening to the adjacent he solar to address issues of unsightliness to neighbors. He added the pollution caused by the silicon panels would be mitigated by the placement of the panels so there would be little runoff to the lake.
At past meetings, Supervisor Will Wadsworth has expressed concerns about what happens when the solar farm has to be decommissioned, and the panels removed. The town will work on getting a surety bond to make sure the site, if discontinued for use as a solar farm, is returned to a condition suitable for other uses.