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Niagara County Legislature opposes Cuomo plan to speed up renewable energy projects

The Niagara County Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday to ask Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to withdraw his proposal to speed up approvals of renewable energy projects.

The vote came after a lengthy public hearing on a proposal to ban Niagara County from issuing property tax incentives for wind and solar power projects. The Legislature expects to vote on that next month.

Cuomo's plan would automatically approve wind and solar projects after a year of waiting, if a new state office he wants to create hasn't already approved them.

"We petition the state to respect our home rule rights, and to defend our authority to regulate renewable energy projects as the citizens of our community see fit," Tuesday's resolution said.

Two large solar projects, one covering 900 acres in Cambria and Pendleton and the other covering 2,000 acres in Newfane and Hartland, are on the drawing board. The county also resisted a major wind project in Somerset, which was shelved last year.

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