Copake prepares for second Shepherd’s Run solar filing

Farmland vista where the proposed 42 megawatt Shepherd’s Run Solar Farm is planned along Route 23 at the entryway to the rural hamlet of Copake. Opponents say the project would detract from the scenic farmland community.

John Coston

Copake prepares for second Shepherd’s Run solar filing

COPAKE — Town of Copake Supervisor Richard Wolfe reported that Hecate Energy LLC plans to seek a siting permit for a 42 megawatt (MW) solar project after the company’s plan was turned down by the state last month.

The project, called Shepherd’s Run, was originally designed as a 60MW facility that would be situated near the intersection of Routes 23 and 7.

The New York state Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) on Feb. 6 dismissed the company’s application after it had lost control of a parcel of land that had been integral to the project. The decision to dismiss was made “without prejudice,” meaning that the company could resubmit.

In a January filing with ORES, Diane Sullivan, a senior vice president at Hecate, said that the company planned to submit a revised plan within 60 days, which would be any time now.

Emails and phone calls to Hecate were not returned.

Wolf, in his latest report to residents about the project’s status, wrote, “I warned that the saga of Shepherd’s Run was not over. Because the dismissal was “without prejudice,” Hecate could try again. Well, they’re back!”

The original project covered 267 acres, and according to Wolf the company plans to work with 217 acres to build a 42MW array.

“Shepherd’s Run would still be the size of more than 150 NFL-sized football fields,” Wolf wrote.

Wolf could not be reached for comment, but in his report he said that he hoped that the company “will work with Copake to address our well documented concerns about its proposal.”

Wolf said that should include incorporating proposals from an ad hoc Working Group that include a 300-acre public greenspace, creating nature walks and bicycle paths that would turn Shepherd’s Run “from an eyesore into a tourist attraction.”

The supervisor called for Hecate to compensate homeowners who will be impacted by “tens of thousands of solar panels directly across the road.”

Wolf was critical of Hecate’s approach to view a new application filing as an “amendment” to the old application.

Wolf also notes in his report that Hecate, despite its claims, has not held any “open house style” meetings to present a new proposal to the Town of Copake, and further that in its Public Information Project Plan (PIP) the company makes several mistakes regarding the identity of town officials.

“[PIP] has incorrect titles for some appointed board chairs, fails to list another appointed board member, and even lists a deceased Copakean as a current deputy chair,” Wolf wrote.

Latest News

Cornwall labrador maimed in bear attack

Charlie the labrador retriever must wear a cone while he recovers from a bear attack on Wednesday, July 17.

Phyllis Nauts

CORNWALL — An eight-year-old black labrador retriever named Charlie was mauled by a bear in his yard on the evening of Wednesday, July 17.

Phyllis Nauts, his owner, said she did not hear or see the fight and only realized what had happened when Charlie came inside for mealtime.

Keep ReadingShow less
Thru hikers linked by life on the Appalachian Trail

Riley Moriarty


Of thousands who attempt to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, only one in four make it.

The AT, completed in 1937, runs over roughly 2,200 miles, from Springer Mountain in Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park of Maine.

Keep ReadingShow less
17th Annual New England Clambake: a community feast for a cause

The clambake returns to SWSA's Satre Hill July 27 to support the Jane Lloyd Fund.


The 17th Annual Traditional New England Clambake, sponsored by NBT Bank and benefiting the Jane Lloyd Fund, is set for Saturday, July 27, transforming the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s Satre Hill into a cornucopia of mouthwatering food, live music, and community spirit.

The Jane Lloyd Fund, now in its 19th year, is administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and helps families battling cancer with day-to-day living expenses. Tanya Tedder, who serves on the fund’s small advisory board, was instrumental in the forming of the organization. After Jane Lloyd passed away in 2005 after an eight-year battle with cancer, the family asked Tedder to help start the foundation. “I was struggling myself with some loss,” said Tedder. “You know, you get in that spot, and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Someone once said to me, ‘Grief is just love with no place to go.’ I was absolutely thrilled to be asked and thrilled to jump into a mission that was so meaningful for the community.”

Keep ReadingShow less