The presentation of a four-point plan to break the impasse over the Shepherd’s Run Solar Farm in Copake at a summit meeting between Hecate, the company proposing to build it, and representatives of several watchdog groups will, we hope, get this long-overdue project moving for the good of the environment.
The question of whether Shepherd’s Run is constructed or remains in limbo indefinitely now seems beside the point for Copake’s residents and the rest of Columbia County as electricity costs skyrocket, fossil fuel prices spiral out of control and green energy production fast becomes the order of the day.
Shepherd’s Run, a 220-acre, 60-megawatt solar facility is planned for Route 23 and Route 7 in Copake. It has been a fractious topic among local residents for the past two years characterized by heated debates over the project’s scale and the impact it could have on the environment and property values.
A working group consisting of members of Sensible Solar for Rural New York, Friends of Columbia Solar, Columbia Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson met last week to discuss ideas for Hecate to take into consideration for their plan.
In response to community concerns, the group outlined a series of ideas they suggested Hecate include in their plan for the project. Their ideas were broken down into four categories — protecting the environment, protecting agriculture, protecting homeowners and benefiting the community.
Sensible Solar member Meredith Kane described the working group’s aims last Friday.
“To talk about really trying to focus on what would it take to make the Shepherd’s Run project one that could actually be a win-win for Copake, and the whole Copake community for our environment, for our farms, our economy, for our residents, for our school kids as well as the undeniable benefits that a solar project has for climate change,” Kane said.
This is what needs to happen. More angry words won’t be of much help. Hecate and the organizations represented by the working group seem to have taken their debates and project revisions as far as they can go. Making Copake a better place to live for residents and achieving the benefits that green energy creates would truly be a win-win situation.
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