COPAKE—How much more will Hecate Energy reduce the size of its Shepherd’s Run solar facility in Craryville?
The public will find out at Hecate’s upcoming in-person informational open house next Tuesday, November 30.
For the past couple of months Copake Deputy Town Supervisor Richard Wolf has been reporting in his monthly updates on the proposed 60-megawatt industrial-sized solar facility that Hecate officials are proposing to further shrink the project area.
Headquartered in Chicago, Hecate, a developer of solar and wind facilities and energy storage projects, initially proposed to site its 200,000 solar panel installation on 500 acres on several sites along State Route 23 and County Route 7 in and around the Copake hamlet of Craryville. In his November 11 report at the Copake Town Board meeting, Mr. Wolf, the town liaison on everything Hecate, said the latest project site acreage totals 208—down from 245 in October and 255 before that.
“Although generating capacity remains the same 60 MWs, the ‘inside-the-fence’ acreage is now well less than half of what Hecate originally sought when it unveiled Shepherd’s Run in January 2020. This is encouraging… but more needs to be done.
“So we continue to voice our two primary objections: the project is still too big, and it is poorly sited,” said Councilman Wolf.
In the meantime Copake, as lead petitioner along with five other upstate, rural towns and seven non-profit avian interest groups and community grass-roots organizations, continue to challenge state Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) regulations in court. ORES is the state agency with which Hecate plans to file its fast-track 94-c solar project application. Copake and the other plaintiffs are suing because they believe they are at risk of being adversely affected by existing and proposed permit applications before ORES.
The suit seeks “to invalidate the ORES regulations, and to require ORES to adopt new regulations based on performance of a full environmental impact statement studying the environmental effects that could result statewide from ORES permits for large-scale renewable energy installations,” according to a press release.
‘We continue to voice our two primary objections: the project is still too big, and it is poorly sited.”
Councilman Richard Wolf
Deputy Supv.Town of Copake
In a public informational open house set for November 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hillsdale Firehouse, 9387 State Route 22, Hecate representatives and consultants will answer questions and inform the public on the Shepherd’s Run solar project’s updated layout, visual simulations and other topics. Learn more at www.sherpherdsrunsolar.com.
Covid-19 precautions will be in place and participants must sign in and have their temperature taken.