Round #2 for Sharon solar: Open houses August 27


By Patsy Nicosia

The Town of Sharon will get its second look at the 50-megawatt solar farm being proposed along Route 20 when NextEra Energy holds two open houses Tuesday, August 27, at the Sharon Springs Firehouse.
The sessions on the East Point Energy Center will run from 11am-1pm and from 5-7pm.
Both sessions will follow the same format—there won’t be a formal presentation but rather a chance to talk one-on-one with project reps and experts—and will cover the same information.
Of particular interest to residents will be maps showing the proposed layout, including the location of the solar panels.
Additionally, there will be an update on PILOT—payment in lieu of taxes—discussions that have been going on between the Town of Sharon, Schoharie County, and Sharon Springs Central School.
Also available will be information on intervenor funds, money NextEra is required to put up to help municipalities and others pay for things like legal representation and their own studies.
Last fall, the Town of Sharon received $17,500 in intervenor funds, money that’s just run out, Supervisor Sandy Manko said in July.
Following the open houses, the next step will be for NextEra to submit its Article 10 application with the state in September, said Bryan Garner, a NextEra spokesman.
Because of the size of the East Point Energy Center and the New York State’s focus on renewable energy, the project is subject to state review and approval and not approval by Sharon’s Joint Planning Board.
Anyone interested in the proposed project can stop by anytime during the open houses.
“Rather than a structured, formal presentation, the open house will provide many opportunities for any member of the public to speak directly with project representatives and subject-matter experts about individual issues that may concern them,” Next Era said in an ad running in this week’s Times-Journal.