Detailed plans for a 150-acre solar farm to be located on a golf course in Shoreham were filed with the Town of Brookhaven Thursday, as developer Invenergy moves closer to building the island's second-largest renewable-energy project.
The project, to be built on what is now the Tallgrass Golf Course, will consist of 110,000 ground-mounted solar panels to produce up to 24.9 megawatts of power -- enough, the developers say, to power 5,684 homes. The panels will be up to 10 feet off the ground and inside a fenced perimeter with vegetation to shield it from view. There will be a 100-foot buffer from roadways.
"The beauty of . . . [the project] is that it will be heavily shielded" from view, said Kevin Parzyck, vice president of development for Chicago-based Invenergy. "It's a passive use of the land."
But the project has its detractors.
Andre Blount, who lives a block away from the proposed Invenergy site and another across the road planned by Salt Lake City, Utah-based developer sPower directly behind his home, called the notion of two big solar farms in a residential neighborhood "insane."
"I'll sell my house and move," Blount said.
Invenergy is offering use of the existing 7,700-square-foot golf clubhouse as a community center. They also plan to place a walking track in the 2-mile, 100-foot buffer around the facility.
In its expanded environmental assessment filings, the company argued the project will have "no significant direct or indirect adverse impacts" on its Shoreham location, and have a "far more positive impact on land use" than a previously planned 120-unit housing subdivision.
Parzyck said the company was "taking great pains to communicate with everybody" in the community about the project, including "holding open houses, working with stakeholders and telling them what's going on."
He said the project complies with current zoning codes for solar in a special "overlay" district in that portion of Shoreham.
The company filed its application with Brookhaven in May, before a new building code developed by the Suffolk Planning Commission for commercial solar projects was released.