FARMINGTON, NY (WROC) — It could be one of the largest solar farms in the region: 40 acres in Farmington are proposed to become home to thousands of solar panels.
Nearly 100 people gathered at the highway garage off Hook Road in Farmington, most of them all voicing opposition to the solar panel project by Delaware River Solar, which is seeking a permit to start building.
Jim Falanga, a resident opposed to the solar farm says, “They ensured us it would be a small five to seven acres tucked behind a marsh where no one would see it.”
Critics like Falanga object to the size of the solar farm. He says it has morphed into a massive project, with 21,000 proposed solar panels on 40-plus acres of farmland off Yellow Mills Road. Delaware River Solar would lease the land from the Smith family.
Falanga says it will make the direct area and surrounding farmland obsolete.
The Town Planning Board just received a report from the State Agriculture Department, a study highlighting the impacts on local farms and markets. They say that needs to be considered before moving forward. There’s also environmental impact information to take into account.
Dale Sadler, Farmer Close to Proposed Site says, “Everybody wants renewable energy… but not in their own backyards.”
A concern for the former town supervisor is noise pollution. Something he says Delaware refers to something akin to refrigerators humming. “I don’t know that anyone’s heard 21,000 refrigerators in one spot,” adds Foley.
He says the farm’s supposed to power 1,400 homes…somewhere. “Because it’s not going to be given to Farmington, it’s going into the grid.”
Of those present campaigning for the project, namely the developer and the property owner, none wanted to give comment. The next public meeting on the solar panel farm will be held on May 15.