Friday, July 19, 2024

Open house scheduled for proposed solar project in Dryden

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The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is hosting an open house for a proposed solar project in the town of Dryden. This initiative is part of NYSERDA’s build ready program and involves the construction of a 12.5-megawatt solar array facility and a 2.5-megawatt battery energy storage system along Caswell Road in Dryden, in collaboration with Tompkins County officials.

The open house is scheduled for April 17 at 6 p.m. at the fire hall located at 26 North St. in the village of Dryden. The drafted sketch plan of the project indicates that it could potentially be developed at the former Ithaca North Landfill Site, known locally as the Caswell Road Landfill. The landfill covers 112 acres and operated from 1970 to 1985, handling an average of 29,400 tons of solid waste per year.

NYSERDA has designated the Dryden-based landfill site as one of two areas under a memorandum of understanding for solar-energy projects. The project’s footprint encompasses over 51 acres on three parcels within the former landfill site. The proposed interconnection for the project would span an adjacent private parcel to the north and then connect to the Peruville substation.

During the open house, NYSERDA, in partnership with TRC engineering company, will provide information and answer questions about the solar project. Terry Carroll, the chief sustainability officer for the county, confirmed that the project will undergo an approval process with the Dryden town board and planning board. The project will be introduced to the town board at its April 18 meeting.

The development and approval process is expected to lead to the auction of the project for construction. If all goes according to plan, construction of the solar project is anticipated to begin in either 2025 or 2026. Carroll highlighted the benefits of using closed landfills for solar projects, citing the clean, renewable electricity that could be generated while repurposing land that might not be used for other purposes.

The safety and operation of the landfill remain a priority for the county, which is open to leasing the land to NYSERDA as long as the project is executed in the best way possible. The county is committed to ensuring that the development of the solar project aligns with environmental best practices.

In other news, the Dryden Central School District is looking for candidates for its upcoming school board election, and the Southworth Library in the village of Dryden is hosting a “Paws to Read” event on April 13 for children to practice reading with dogs from the Cornell Canine Companions.

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