Two solar energy projects are launched in Batavia | Featured story


BATAVIA — The developer of two solar power projects along Alexander Road plans to start construction in 2023 after the two projects won planning board approval on Tuesday evening.

Planners granted special use permits for a 1.6 megawatt project at 9071 Alexander Rd. and a 3.7 megawatt project at 9183 Alexander Rd., known as the Pike Road project.

The project at 9071 Alexander would cover approximately 10 acres. It would be a ground-based solar power system. The ground-mounted commercial solar power system at 9183 Alexander Rd. would cover 14 acres. The company developing the projects is Renewable Properties, based in San Francisco, California.

“Hopefully these will go into construction late spring or early summer next year,” said Brian Madigan of Renewable Properties, project manager for both projects, after the meeting. He said Renewable will sign a contract with an engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

The Planning Board approved both projects with 22 conditions for each. They included Renewable Properties signing a host community agreement with the city. Under the agreement, Renewable would pay the city $2,500 per megawatt per year for 25 years, or a lump sum payment if the city council approves. Planning Board approval is also subject to final approval by the City Engineer.

Other conditions of the site plan and special use permit approval are that any disturbance to the project sites due to the installation of the solar energy system must be indicated on the plans. Disturbed areas where soil has been exposed will need to be reseeded with grass and/or planting of low vegetation capable of preventing soil erosion or airborne dust. Both systems will be retired when they have exceeded their useful life in accordance with a decommissioning plan. Solar power systems may be removed early if special use permits are revoked or if the systems are found to be unusable and/or abandoned.

“All safety hazards created by the installation and operation of the solar energy system must be eliminated and the site restored to its previous condition in accordance with the decommissioning plan within six months of the removal of this system from utility-scale solar,” board member Steve Tanner read as part of the terms of approval.

“Overall, the project meets the Tier 3 ordinance requirements for solar projects,” Madigan told the council. All Tier 3 energy systems are permitted in the Agricultural Residential Zoning District.

“We’re not asking for any waivers…in terms of the ordinance requirements,” he said, adding that visual simulations show you can’t see a lot of the projects from the road.

Madigan explained that the project at 9183 Alexander Rd. is called the Pike Road Project because of two projects on Alexander Road.

“Our typical naming convention is to name the projects after the road they are on, but since there are two…” he said.

Of the 22 conditions, Madigan said there were a few conditions Renewable had never seen before, but said they were about things Renewable would be happy to provide.

Madigan said Renewable must sign the host community agreement with the city.

“We have reached a concept agreement and the documentation has been reviewed and approved, and I believe the decisions here reflect exactly what was discussed and described in the actual host community agreement,” he said. declared.

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