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Community remains divided over Dover Solar Project in York County

Renewable energy company Enel Green Power hopes to transform 600 acres of York County Township's farmland into a solar field.

DOVER, Pa. — In Dover Township, debate continues about a proposed solar farm in the community. 

Renewable energy company Enel Green Power hopes to transform 600 acres of York County Township's farmland into a solar field. While many remain opposed to the project, residents like Matthew Lamparter are excited about its potential.

"I think it's a golden opportunity for the whole community of Dover Township," said Lamparter, who owns a farm in the area.

His farm is one of the vital pieces of the Dover Solar Project.

"We're about at the middle phase of the project, and with this being part of the introduction into the Pennsylvania area, we're kind of at the forefront of the solar project," explained Lamparter. 

Brittany Staszak, the development manager of Enel Power Group, says her company is still in the early stages of receiving a permit.

"Those land owners are currently farming that and will continue to do so as we get through the permitting stages and the development phase of the project," said Staszak. 

On Wednesday, the Dover Township Zoning Board held a hearing to discuss the next phases for this project.

"The ordinance was the first step getting through this SUE, or special use exception, process," said Staszak. "It's the second stage, and that's where we presented the conceptual design that we've taken in front of the zoning hearing board."

However, many Dover Township residents are still unhappy with the proposal.

FOX43 spoke with a few who were against it, but they did not want to be recorded on camera. Some said the solar farm would make a lot of noise while others said the energy from the solar farm will not go towards Dover Township.

Meanwhile, Lamparter says the controversy may be resulting from a lack of understanding.

"People are worried about property value, and I really don't see that as an issue," he explained.

Staszak says Enel Power Group plans to keep the energy generated in the local grid. She says this project will generate a good amount of real estate revenue for the county and more than $1.5 million for schools in a 40-year life cycle.

Meanwhile, The York County Economic Alliance expressed its support of the Dover Solar Project in a letter on Wednesday. The organization said solar energy is a rapidly growing industry, and it is glad to further connections between Enel Power Group and the community.

Next, Staszak says her company will have to present the land development plan to both the Dover Township planning commission and board of supervisors.

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