Amherst seeks to lead on green energy | Local News

Solar projects in other communities have run into opposition, with boards imposing moratoriums on new arrays or tightening their solar laws.

In Buffalo, for example, public opposition prompted Montante Solar in October to halt work on a planned solar array on Unity Island of nearly 12,000 panels and 23 inverters. This was capable of producing enough energy to power the Buffalo Sewer Authority’s nearby wastewater treatment plant, cutting electric costs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 3,800 tons per year.

In Niagara County, the City of Lockport and the Town of Lewiston had put a pause on any new arrays and the Town of Wheatfield was considering one. As its 14-month moratorium ended, the Lewiston Town Board in December passed a revised local law requiring that fields of solar panels be located farther away from roads and homes than before, among other changes.

And on Grand Island, the Town Board earlier this month approved a 90-day solar moratorium that can be extended for another three months, Supervisor John Whitney said.

“We need to take a step back before we have an island of solar arrays and try to get a better handle on where they should be situated and that sort of thing,” Whitney said.

He said a committee including community members and industry representatives will review and recommend changes to the town’s current solar regulations. Grand Island has three arrays in operation and several others in the pipeline.