Farmington solar project holds public Q&A

May 07, 2019

FARMINGTON, NY (WROC-TV) – It could be one of the largest solar farms in the region: forty acres of private land in Farmington off of Yellow Mills and Fox Road.

The seven-megawatt proposed solar farm has run up against some stiff opposition in recent months. Some feel the 22,000 panels will be a giant eyesore. At the last public meeting on April 17, many were passionately opposed or uncertain on the project.

Dale Sadler, a farmer near the project said in April, “Everybody wants renewable energy but not in their own backyards.”

Jim Foley, the former Farmington Town Supervisor, said last month the energy is going somewhere in-state but not to the community. “It’s not going to be given to Farmington, it’s going into the grid.”

With this latest session, attitudes appear to have shifted a bit, as have the initial plans for the farm. Tom Guidarelli says, “It’s not very noticeable (now) from the road. At least according to the images.”

“Overall, it’s just a good thing for our community,” says Bryan Adams.

Karen Guidarelli adds, “We can’t think of any reason to oppose it. We’ve looked at all the science behind it.”

Delaware River Solar, the team behind the project, says the farm would power over a thousand homes right in Farmington and in the surrounding area. Dan Compitello with the company says dozens of these farms are going up across New York, he says it’s all a part of the state’s initiative to have 100% renewable energy by 2050. Compitello says with solar being new to New York, people rightly have concerns.

“So, there are definitely a lot of questions people have, and we really understand that,” he says, adding solar is proven. The panels do not move, make no noise, and reduce carbon emissions. “It’s a really passive way to convert the sunlight’s energy into electricity and get it to people.”

If approved, the solar farm would also feature grazing land for sheep to keep the grass down and grow meat for consumption, a kind of solar-farming land hybrid. The solar project in Rush and Caledonia is proposing the same idea.