Forest saved from career as a solar farm in New York state
| So it’s great to go solar, but not at the expense of wildlife habitat.
In the state of New York, Assemblyman Steve Englebright and his colleagues have been fighting to make the pretty stretch of woodland surrounding an abandoned Shoreham nuclear power plant off limits to developers.
And back in January, the Assemblyman co-sponsored legislation to stop the site from being turned into a solar farm.
And good news – over 800 acres of the site has been added to the publicly protected Central Pine Barrens preservation area, as well as portions of Mastic Woods. Plus, elected officials have pushed for the state to buy the land altogether.
About 840 acres of the property is to be bought from the National Grid in increments over a number of years, starting in 2019. The area consists of rolling hills and cliffs, and various species of wildlife. It’s one of New York’s remaining original coastal forest tracts, so it’s an important move in terms of protecting Long Island’s natural heritage. The National Grid had been proposing to bulldoze the forest and build a solar farm in its place.
It is hoped that this purchase will improve the ground and surface water quality and resilience of the coast – and support tourism. Which tourist wants to come to see a solar farm?
Englebright is hoping to save the Mastic acres which is still destined to be a solar farm, and that alternative sites can be used for solar development.
Solar energy is great, but there’s a place for it and forest isn’t one of them.
Well done to Englebright and his colleagues for this move!
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