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Solar power plant proposals in Ogden sparking debate

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Ogden, N.Y. – A large solar power plant could be coming soon to Ogden. It would bring alternative energy and jobs, but some neighbors do not want the power plant in their backyard.

Those neighbors say the town sent out a letter stating Borrego Solar Company could be coming near their homes. A local farmer plans to lease 90 acres to the company. A second proposal from Caspian Solar is also on the table.

While some in the area support solar energy for the environment, they say they don’t want a plant on their block. A crowd of neighbors opposed to the project spoke at an application for rezoning hearing Tuesday.

"Look at the people that are here tonight," one resident said to the board. "I know it's probably as big as you've had in how many years. And it's not the question, 'Solar?' I agree; it's a great idea. But why here? Why backing up to my property?"

The town supervisor says the move could save residents 10 percent on energy costs – and save farmland, turning a cornfield into a solar farm.

“Parts of their farmland is not farmable,” said Town Supervisor Gay Lenhard. “Or, it’s farmable for things that aren’t necessary. This is a great opportunity for the farmers.”

Representatives for Borrego said their proposal calls for construction along Union Street, near power lines that will feed into RG&E. The company plans to put up a fence and and plant trees.

"This is a community solar project, which would allow people to get cheaper electricity from this system," said Steve Long of Borrego Solar Company. People who can't put solar on their house but are interested in doing clean energy, they can buy into this and get clean energy for their homes."

Still, some neighbors prefer it as an industrial site. Some are afraid the value of their homes will go down with the plant’s construction.

“I love my home now, but I can assure you I won’t love it after these panels go up, if they do,” said homeowner Robert Gary.

No decision was made on the application for rezoning Wednesday night. 13WHAM will provide updates on this story as they become available.

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