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Lockport imposes 90-day moratorium on ground-level solar panels

The Lockport Common Council voted Wednesday to impose a 90-day moratorium on installing ground-mounted solar panels anywhere in the city.

There are no such projects currently on the drawing board, Corporation Counsel David J. Haylett said. But during the timeout, he will craft a solar ordinance, similar to those in other communities, to regulate such projects.

"Right now, the city doesn't have anything on its books about solar," Haylett said.

The new ordinance he plans to write would impose setback distances on residents and businesses who want to place solar panels on their properties, regardless of zoning. And it would limit large-scale solar projects to industrial zones.

Localities can govern any solar project that generates fewer than 25 megawatts of electricity. Anything larger must go through the state approval process, which may soon be accelerated if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo persuades the Legislature to pass a new law on the topic.

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