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Grand Island board approves solar generation power plant

The Grand Island Town Board approved on Monday a developer's plan to build a $7 million community solar generation plant on the island.

Community solar, which generates electricity to share with the community, is relatively new with only three operations in New York State, and Grand Island's plant would be the largest, said Mike Francis of Blue Rock Energy, which will market the electricity to the community.

Francis said the visibility of this project to motorists from the Interstate-190 will be "very impressive."

Developer Frank McCleneghen, president of Active Solar Development and Grand Island Solar LLC, said his company will install about 13,000 solar panels on an 18-acre site, with 2411 Bedell Road to the south and 126 Industrial Drive to the north. The site plans to generate four megawatts, enough to power 400 properties. Construction could begin in a few months.

"We're really happy that the town has moved this forward," said McCleneghen.

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