Cornwall explores new solar options

CORNWALL — With a flurry of solar projects popping up in surrounding towns, Cornwall’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) discussed ways to increase renewable energy in town at a meeting of the board Tuesday, Jan. 16.

First Selectman Gordon Ridgway met with representatives from the Sharon Energy Environmental Group and the CT Green Bank the week prior to the meeting. Two potential sites were evaluated: Cornwall Consolidated School and the transfer station.

“We talked about what’s going on in Sharon, what’s happening in some of our other nearby municipalities as far as large-scale solar installations in their town to help control the cost of electricity,” said Ridgway, noting new initiatives at the state level that offer incentives to towns expanding renewable energy sources. “Connecticut is ambitious. They’re looking to go all renewable fuels by 2040.”

Over the next several months, BOS will further discuss solar options in town and develop a full proposal.

“It does provide a sustainable path forward for towns like Cornwall. I think it’s win-win and we should continue to advocate and pursue it,” said Selectman Rocco Botto.

Ridgway said proposals for renewable projects can be submitted to the Green Bank either in February or August.

“We’re not going to be ready for February... hopefully we’ll be lined up for August,” he said.

BOS will release more information on upcoming solar plans as it develops.

Town updates

State. Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) has offered assistance to Cornwall in gaining approval for food composting services at the transfer station. After applying for a composting permit in 2023, Cornwall was told the town does not qualify because the transfer station does not offer leaf composting.

Ridgway said after he expressed the difficulty Cornwall has encountered, Horn was “all ears” and got to work to expedite the process. BOS planned to continue to work with Horn and DEEP to move forward with composting services.

Cornwall’s town garage added a truck to the fleet in January. A 2011 International with plow attachment was purchased from the Town of Harwinton for $27,000. The truck was reportedly well-maintained by the Harwinton mechanic and is expected to run for another 10 to 15 years.

“It is orange, so you will see an orange truck on Cornwall roads,” said Ridgway. “It’s actually pretty slick.”

BOS appointed Caroline Daifotis to the Zoning Board of Appeals as an alternate.

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