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Department of Planning

Solar Farming

Recent events – including government incentives and policies – have attracted property owners, farm businesses, local governments, utility companies, and solar installers to pursue solar as a core element of local energy production. The NYS Public Service Commission is making the transition to Distributed Renewable Generation the centerpiece of its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) policy. Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for 50% renewable energy generation in New York by 2030.

While solar and other renewables need to be the backbone to the emerging green energy economy, in recent months landowners are being aggressively approached and offered lucrative long-term leases. Yet lease terms can introduce risks to property landowners as well as conflicts with property and community interests related to land uses, permits, taxes, farm operations and others. This workshop offered advice to farmers, local governments and other landowners on how to define and protect their best interests if considering larger scale solar generation.

The following are handouts from the August 1st workshop: