Alternative energy regulations discussed

Shawn Hardy

ANTRIM TOWNSHIP — When Connie Slye ran for Antrim Township supervisor last year, an alternative energy ordinance was on her to-do list.

Slye wasn’t elected, but she is continuing to work on a proposed ordinance with three sections:

  • Solar system on-site (residential)
  • Principal or off-site (solar farm)
  • Wind energy

“We need to make Antrim Township a sustainable community and get off fossil fuels,” Slye said after last week’s supervisors’ meeting.

She told supervisors she is working with Shippensburg University, which could provide an intern to help at $10 for an estimated 120 hours.

Supervisors did not take action on the intern, but discussion indicated solar energy is on the horizon as an issue in the township.

Solicitor John Lisko explained that solar energy formerly was not very profitable in Pennsylvania, but Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed legislation making it more lucrative and “I think we’re going to see more solar farms in Pennsylvania.”

Sylvia House, township zoning and code enforcement officer, said she has recently been contacted by two different companies.

“There’s nothing regulating it now … an intern might be a good idea to help develop regulations,” she said.

Township resident Bob Smith pointed out the roofs of warehouses in Antrim Township would be a good spot for solar panels if the value is high enough.

Robert Wertime, whose family has a farm in the township, said it has “25 acres that are rather inhospitable for development.” The ground would be a “no-no” for a wind farm due to the birds of prey in the area, but could be a location for solar stands.

“I encourage this board to explore and get some things in place so when the magic moments arrive the paperwork and infrastructure are in place,” Wertime said.

Slye said she will continue to work on the ordinance because she is interested in sustainable living and has the time to do it.