At the Town Board meeting Feb. 15, Eden Renewables shared a proposal for a 75-acre solar project consisting of two, five MW systems to be built on current open-field farmland located in the Albany Pine Bush next to our home.
While we are not opposed to solar, this being a useful energy source, we do have concerns with this solar project being constructed directly in the Pine Bush Preserve, and outside our front door, for several reasons.
We believe this project would drastically change the beauty of the entire field, which now includes abundant wildlife we see daily; deer, fox, geese, turkey, opossums, rabbits, as well as innumerable butterflies, song birds, hawks, coyotes, and most importantly, could cause interruption to the Karner blue butterflies in this area, possible environmental pollutants, and all in this single-family-zoned area.
This area has a multitude of trees along its borders, as well as a great deal of wetlands, and although Eden calls this area “not a great environment as it stands,” we strongly disagree.
We have brought these concerns to the Town of Colonie, and are thankful for their interest at this project’s beginning stages, and look forward to the town doing their due diligence in protecting the zoning in this area, the homes here, the natural beauty, and wildlife that freely access this area.
Unfortunately, we have not seen accurate reporting from Eden, as they look to remove several trees from a large part of the property, which they reported to us in October, 2021, would not happen.
They have stated “wildlife habitat value for this area is presently low…” which we also disagree with.
In researching feedback from Eden Renewable projects in Duanesburg, Glen, Coxsackie, Bethlehem, to name a few, Eden Renewable has not shown themselves to be “good neighbors” and as such, we have concerns for this area of Colonie.
Eden stated at the meeting, referring directly to speaking with my husband and I, “We will continue to speak with him and other neighbors who have concerns … and we are working on it as best we can in earnest.” This is inaccurate, as Eden has had no contact with us, or our neighbors, since October, 2021.
When asked about this after the Town meeting, Eden’s representative apologized, said he has been “very busy,” and would contact us soon. To date, this has not happened. We wonder if Eden’s representative (or anyone) would be willing to purchase a home facing a 75-acre solar farm, 60 feet from the front door, with the 100-foot setback rule, at its current market value.
Again, while we are not opposed to solar, this location does not seem to be the proper place, not when there are many other areas solar could be effectively installed without destroying the natural landscape, Pine Bush habitat, and home values in this area.
Mark and Deb Kazmierczak