Cherry Valley Town Board Considering Solar Power Facility

By Chris English

CHERRY VALLEY — Discussion of a proposed solar power generating facility took up much of the Cherry Valley town board meeting on Thursday, May 9.

Carson Power wants to build the facility on a 15-acre parcel just off Route 54, according to Town Supervisor Tom Garretson. Solar panels would be put up on about 10 of the 15 acres, he added.

Cherry Valley is in the early stages of considering the matter and deciding whether the proposal complies with all aspects of the town’s law regulating solar energy systems enacted in 2021, town officials explained.

“So far, they seem to be meeting all the requirements,” Garretson said after the meeting. “As long as they play by the rules of the game, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Since New York State law exempts the value of a solar panel system from local property taxes, Cherry Valley town officials will negotiate a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with Carson so the town can reap a fair amount of revenue from the facility, Garretson explained during the May 9 meeting.

“We’re in the driver’s seat, we’ll negotiate hard to get what we want,” he said. Also weighing in on the matter during the May 9 meeting were town Planning Board Chairwoman Cierra Utter and planning board member Frank McGrath.

“The town of Cherry Valley recognizes that solar energy is a clean, readily available and renewable energy source that can address climate change and decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and desires to see individual homes, businesses and farms use the technology,” reads the town law on solar energy, available for view on the town website,

“It also recognizes the potential for some solar energy generation systems to have adverse impacts and the need for proper facility siting in order to protect and preserve important resources in the town,” it continues. “The purpose of these regulations is to balance the environmental benefits of renewable energy with potential adverse impacts of solar energy generating systems on the environment and in the community while preserving the rights of the property owners to install solar collection systems without excess regulation.”

According to the Carson Power website,, “New York aims to power the state with 70 percent renewable by 2030 and 100 percent renewables by 2040. With over 500 MW of solar and storage assets under development across the country, our team has extensive experience bringing projects from site control to construction financing.”

In other news from the May 9 meeting, the town board voted to proceed with repairs on the Dietchie Road Bridge. The exact cost and funding source or sources won’t be finalized until farther along in the process, Garretson explained.