Riverhead Town considering new code for solar farms

New requirements for solar farms could be coming to Riverhead Town.

During Thursday’s Planning Board meeting, town building and planning administrator Jefferson Murphree presented recommendations that are more aligned with Suffolk County’s new legislation for solar production energy facilities.

Now that solar power is starting to gain momentum, local municipalities are catching up to regulating the energy source.

Riverhead and Southold towns have both proposed restricting where power-generating solar farms that would sell energy back to PSEG can be built. The restrictions would not apply to farms that generate solar energy to power their own operations.

Riverhead Town code currently doesn’t include setbacks for solar projects. If the proposal is approved, the town would require a minimum setback of 100 feet from residences and a 25-foot minimum buffer to commercial or industrial properties.

“These recommended changes would only be applicable to the existing industrial zoning districts and would not apply to the proposed industrial zoning at EPCAL,” Mr. Murphree added.

The Planning Board is expected to vote on a resolution at its Aug. 6 meeting to recommend the Town Board adopt the changes.

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