Developer eyes Potsdam for large scale solar project
Sunday, December 1, 2019 - 8:30 am

BY CRAIG FREILICH

North Country This Week

POTSDAM – As the first step in developing large-scale solar projects on his property, farmer Anthony Gilbert is asking the Village of Potsdam to act on his request to rezone the property.

Gilbert, of Adon Farms, would like to erect solar arrays on land between Lawrence Avenue and May Road, now zoned as residential R-1.

In his letter to Mayor Ron Tischler requesting the zoning change to an R-3 designation, Gilbert explains that the land would be difficult to prepare for farming due to a large number of buried gas lines there, and manure spreading on the land would be “unfavorable” due to the proximity to other private properties. There is also a 100-foot right of way underneath a large National Grid transmission line bisecting both of the parcels he wants to use for the solar project. The R-3 designation would allow such a development.

“Alternatively, the properties are well suited for a large-scale solar farm,” Gilbert writes. “Solar energy is produced silently, with no emissions, and no impacts to the surrounding traffic, sewer or water systems.

“Once operational, the projects could provide power for approximately 1500 homeowners in the Greater Potsdam area, to benefit from clean, cheaper, renewable energy, produced right here in the Community.”

The Board of Trustees approved forwarding Gilbert’s request to the village Planning Board for their analysis and possible recommendation.