Rhinebeck City Council reviewing siting aspects of potential solar projects – Daily Freeman
RHINEBECK, NY – City Council will ask planners and Central Hudson to ensure that a proposed zoning amendment allowing community solar projects in most zoning districts will encourage new installations.
Councilman Alan Scherer voiced his concerns Monday during a city council meeting via videoconference.
“It looks like the only real practical place for a community solar installation would be in the (Office Research Park District),” he said. “The problem is coverage. (It implies) what percentage of the property could be covered by solar panels.
Scherer called for further review to ensure there will be suitable slots available if the amendment passes. Under the amendment, facilities would be limited to the “maximum lot coverage” area of a zoning district.
Officials also wrote that a community solar installation could not be located on a property where “prime farmland” would be taken out of potential production or result in the cutting of more than 50% of the trees in a forested area.
Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia said there was a review of potential power grid connection sites.
“Based on the maps that Central Hudson has provided us with, I think the most viable locations are where three-phase power (a method of generating, transmitting, and distributing alternating current electricity) exists,” he said. she declared.
Officials drafted the amendments with the goal of having community solar installations as a source of electricity for homeowners in the city.
“Community solar power is a type of solar power plant…aimed at providing ownership of the facility to residents, including homeowners, tenants, businesses, and those who otherwise cannot…install the solar power on their own property,” officials wrote.
Projects should have at least 10 co-owners unless the installation is on a multi-family building and would serve those residents. There would also be a 40% limit on the amount of electricity that can be purchased by commercial users.
Officials also want to be sure that the facilities will remain operational in the event of a power grid failure. They also encourage developers to come up with plans for electricity to flow through a microgrid.