LIMA – A meeting and recent webinar regarding large scale solar installations shed more light on Lima’s continuing considerations to allow solar sites and potential strategies to capitalize on solar power.
Lima’s Deputy Supervisor Cathy Gardner said that an April 5 meeting included a presentation on anticipated guidelines for large scale solar siting by a New York State Department of Agricultural and Markets representative.
“We have learned that the likely locations, and the only locations that would be feasible, are along 15A and heading out Main Street to Avon,” said Gardner.
One of the challenges of siting these installations, Gardner explained, is the need for locations to be in proximity to the substation located in the village. Although Gardner was clear that potential siting is not definitive at this time, possible future sites have been identified in Lima.
Location is not the only challenge Gardner identified in selecting prime plots in Lima.
“When our ag committee met to discuss the larger scale projects, one of their principle concerns was what happens to the ground underneath,” Gardner explained.
A webinar on April 6, sponsored by the National Conservation Training Center, in which Gardner participated, addressed that very concern. Pollinator habits, Gardner reported, may be an option.
“Instead of seeing some of the earlier type installations where the larger scale fields would be put in with just sand beneath or even gravel, now there’s a movement toward pollinator habit,” said Gardner.
In other words, ‘wildflowers,’ as one board member commented. That option would provide a beneficial environment for bees, butterflies and other creatures responsible for the fertilization of plants and trees.
Although this strategy would create additional expenditure and extra upkeep initially, Gardner stated that this option is believed to decrease costs long term.
The information is timely, since Lima’s agricultural committee is expected to discuss their considerations next Wednesday. Gardner said that after a first meeting in February, the committee had hoped to communicate with community members and bring those findings to next week’s discussions.
Gardner stated that definitive action regarding Lima’s solar laws is not expected to conclude until this fall.
“Our moratorium continues to August, and I would anticipate that sometime within this calendar year we’ll finish the process,” said Gardner.