Chamber Supports Responsible Development of Solar

Montour Solar One is a proposed solar energy facility that would be located in portions of Montour County and Columbia County. The 100-megawatt (MW) project is a partnership between Talen Energy, owner of the Montour Steam Electric Station, and Pattern Energy. The facility would be located on private land in Anthony, Derry, and Madison townships, near the Montour Station.

The team behind Montour Solar One LLC has been engaging with citizens, government officials, and the business community, over the past year. They have made themselves available to the community by hosting town halls, attending public meetings, and participating in conversations with residents.

As the Montour County government and area townships work to update the County Zoning Ordinance to include solar energy facilities, The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce has encouraged zoning that allows for these facilities while reasonably protecting the environment and neighboring residents and businesses. We know that the committee working on this has examined zoning language from other municipalities. The Montour Solar One project would provide an economic boost to the area with temporary construction jobs and diversify the sources of power generation in Pennsylvania.

Knowing that Montour Solar One is not the only project proposed for our area, it is our hope that updates to the zoning ordinance would provide a reasonable framework to accommodate smart, responsible development of solar energy facilities. The zoning ordinance should allow for efficient use of the land proposed for development, while protecting the health, safety, and economic interests of the surrounding area. Recognizing that technology is ever-changing, the ordinance should provide flexibility to allow for advancements, using established best industry practices and other solar development projects in Pennsylvania and across the United States as a guide.

We are encouraged by Montour Solar One’s recent announcement of support for a number of community organizations. These good-neighbor contributions provide valuable funding for agricultural education, veterans in need, and outdoor recreation.

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce applauds the efforts of Montour County to allow for this development to take place in a responsible manner and looks forward to the Montour Solar One project and the benefits it will provide to our area.