BEDMINSTER NJ – The KDC Solar hearing has been adjourned again. According to a release from Preserve Bedminster, KDC’s variance and final site plan applications are now re-scheduled to continue on March 10, 2016 before the Bedminster Township Land Use Board.
On March 10, the Land Use Board will continue its public hearing of KDC’s variance applications and final site plan application. KDC has applied for two variances from the Township. If granted, the application would allow the construction of a 10,000 megawatt solar facility on the Kirby Farm in the township.
The planned facility would serve the corporate offices of Sanofi’s office complex in Bridgewater. If constructed, the power plant would serve seventy-five per cent of Sanofi’s energy needs. Power would be generated by 33,000 solar panels covering 38 acres of the farm’s 132 acres, and transmitted to Sanofi by way of a cable running under Route 287.
The variance application has not been a cakewalk for KDC.
KDC filed its variance application in October 2012. Considerable opposition arose to the application. Preserve Bedminster (Stop the Somerset Hills Power Plant) is a grassroots organization that is “organized to defeat the development application of an industrial-scale solar power plant proposed to be built in Bedminster’s ten acre rural residential zone,” according to its website.
Preserve Bedminster retained and has been represented by legal counsel, Michele R. Donato of Lavalette, New Jersey.
In addition to the grassroots opposition, KDC has also drawn opposition from some influential neighbors. Bedminster residents Steve and Sabina Forbes are neighbors of the Kirby Farm. They have objected to the applications, and are represented by attorney Richard Sasso of Warren NJ.
The plan has undergone changes during the hearing. The last public hearing of the matter occurred on October 8, 2015. The hearing was scheduled to continue on January 7, but was postponed to February. The February hearing has now been postponed to March 10.