To the editor:
Past presidents as different philosophically as Reagan and Obama asked Americans: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
Today, the question is about the clean energy needed to combat climate change. President Biden has answered with a pledge that the U.S. will cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
In New York, lawmakers established similar goals and created one of the country’s most rigorous programs (94-c) for siting environmentally responsible energy projects. The process requires extensive review of the projects’ environmental impacts and input from the local community.
New York needs to reach 70% renewable energy by 2030, including 6,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2025. That’s why grid-scale solar projects, such as Shepherd’s Run Solar Farm in Copake, are vital. They produce less expensive electricity than smaller installations and use technology that follows the sun to optimize output and minimize land use.
Shepherd’s Run is a comprehensive project that helps sustain local farming operations, provides significant increased revenue to local taxing jurisdictions, preserves soil resources for future agricultural use, protects wetlands, enhances water quality by planting native vegetation and cultivates pollinator species. Its fields will offer grazing for local sheep farm operations. It will create consistent bird habitat for decades to come.
Hecate Energy has been working with the community and local officials every step along the way and would continue to do so. We’ve downsized the project area from 480 acres to 255 acres. We eliminated battery storage on the site.
We’ve seen the effects of climate change in the Hudson Valley. We must act now, and Shepherd’s Run Solar Farm looks forward to being part of the solution.