Solar projects eyed

BLACK RIVER — A Boston, Mass. developer wants to build a couple of solar projects in Jefferson County, including a prospective array in the town of LeRay.

Nexamp Inc. hopes to begin building its about 3.9 megawatt array, which could include about 10,000 panels, at 36171 Route 3 before the end of the year, said Communications Manager Keith Hevenor. The community solar project, named Black River Solar, is projected to become operational by the spring of 2020.

The developer also wants to erect a solar project in Adams, but further details about the project were unavailable Monday. It has three other projects in New York, according to its website.

“We’re just always looking for land that’s developable and close to utility infrastructure,” Mr. Hevenor said. “We typically enter a lease — or long-term lease — agreement for that landowner.”

Solar energy development, particularly community solar arrays, has been growing in the north country in recent years, with several projects proposed for construction.

Cypress Creek Renewables erected a 2.6-megawatt community solar array at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES for the Tri-County Energy Consortium, a coalition of schools and municipalities, and Forefront Power built a 2.9 megawatt array on Old Rome Road in the town of Hounsfield.

Other developers with proposed community solar projects in Jefferson County include Omni Navitas, also Boston, which wants to build two arrays in Depauville and Great Bend; OYA Solar Inc., which wants to build multiple arrays in the towns of Clayton and Orleans, and Norbut Solar Farms, seeking to build five arrays in Chaumont.

Developers of community solar projects sell energy directly to consumers, and their projects to support multiple buyers through shared use. Subscribers to community solar projects are expected to receive savings because the arrays earn cost-saving credits from generating electricity from renewable sources.

Mr. Hevenor said subscribers to Nexamp’s prospective Black River Solar facility can expect to reduce their electricity costs by 10 percent.

“Essentially, they’re saving money and supporting the generation of clean, renewable solar energy that is needed for New York to meet its sustainability goals,” he said.

The Jefferson County Planning Board reviewed the site plan for Nexamp’s Black River Solar project last week and deemed it a project of local concern only, said county Planning Director Michael J. Bourcy.

The LeRay Town Planning Board began assessing the site plan. Jessica L. Jenack, community development coordinator for the town, said it still needs additional documentation before it can take further action.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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