Combined 320 Megawatts of Solar Electric to Bring Over $54 Million to Local Economy
Seven Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects Approved Since 2021
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York State Office of Renewable Energy issued siting permits to Boralex’s Greens Corners Solar, LLC and Community Energy’s Hemlock Ridge Solar, LLC to develop, design, construct, operate, maintain, and decommission two major solar energy facilities. These projects will bring a combined 320 megawatts of clean energy to New York homes and businesses and bring over $54 million to local economies.
“My administration has significantly accelerated our development of renewable energy since last year, and today we are further cementing our position as a leader in climate action,” Governor Hochul said. “We will continue to follow through on our commitment to develop green energy throughout the state, and these projects bring us closer to surpassing our ambitious climate goals, creating well-paying green jobs, and creating a clean, healthy New York for future generations.”
With today’s decision, the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) has now issued seven permits since 2021, with a majority of the decisions coming within six months of applications being deemed complete. The ORES’s decision for these two facilities follows a detailed and transparent review with a robust public participation process to ensure the proposed facilities meet or exceed the requirements of Section 94-c of the Executive Law and its implementing regulations in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Greens Corners is a 120 megawatt (MW) solar electric generating facility located in the Towns of Hounsfield and Watertown, Jefferson County. Hemlock Ridge is a 200 MW solar electric generating facility located in the Towns of Barre and Shelby, Orleans County. Together, these solar facilities are expected to generate enough clean energy to power over 62,000 New York homes for at least 20 years and reduce carbon emissions by over 476,000 metric tons annually. These projects and other major renewable energy facilities permitted and currently under ORES review are vital to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s (CLCPA) aggressive carbon reduction and clean energy targets to combat climate change.
Office of Renewable Energy Siting Executive Director Houtan Moaveni said, “ORES is continuing to deliver real results toward New York’s ambitious and nation leading energy goals. ORES remains steadfast in its commitment to work with local governments and community stakeholders throughout the development of all major renewable energy facilities to ensure they proceed in a way that protects the environment and considers all pertinent social, economic, and environmental factors.”
These solar facilities are expected to provide new revenue to the counties, towns and school districts in in the form of Payments In Lieu Of Taxes (PIOLT) to invest in infrastructure, additional services, and resources for residents. These projects will spur over $54 million in private investment and create over 400 short- and long-term jobs.
Today’s decisions may be obtained by going to the Office’s website at https://ores.ny.gov/permit-applications.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “New York is rapidly accelerating its development of large-scale renewable energy projects as part of our all-encompassing approach to transforming the state’s electricity grid. The approval of these two projects – Greens Corner Solar and Hemlock Ridge Solar – is a major milestone in their journey towards commercial operation and demonstrates the productive engagement between project developers, local host governments, and community stakeholders to site these projects responsibly in support of the state’s clean energy targets.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Projects that generate renewable energy are advancing efforts to achieve New York’s ambitious, nation-leading energy goals and greenhouse gas reductions targets. As the state transitions to more solar and clean energy operations, we are making significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that will improve public health, protect our environment, and advance a more sustainable future for all communities.”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Renewable projects like these will be critical to achieving the State’s bold clean energy and climate agenda. Solar farms of this scope produce enough energy to power thousands of homes while also breathing new life into our local economies. As a member of the Climate Action Council, I congratulate those who made these projects a reality and look forward to seeing the finished product.”
President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Julie Tighe said, “Just one day after Governor Hochul announced the next solicitation for another 2,000 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy, the New York League of Conservation Voters is thrilled to see the Office of Renewable Energy issue permits to Greens Corner Solar and Hemlock Ridge Solar for two new major solar energy facilities under the Accelerated Renewable Energy Siting and Community Benefits Act. We commend the Governor for taking New York from promises to projects and ORES for their swift, yet deliberate, review process – they understand that the urgency that climate change demands must go hand-in-hand with the care our communities deserve.”
Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said, “Our climate goals have become our construction goals, especially when it comes to getting wind and solar power facilities built. It is good news that the Office of Renewable Energy Siting is steadily working through the permit applications it receives, and that two new solar projects have been successfully permitted. These projects will deliver clean power and construction jobs, as well as tax revenue to their host communities.”
New York’s Nation-Leading Clean Energy Initiative
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
The Office of Renewable Energy Siting ORES is the first-of-its-kind state agency dedicated solely to environmentally responsible and cost-effective siting of renewable energy facilities and was established by the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act in April 2020. The Office consolidates the environmental review and permitting of major renewable energy facilities to ensure that siting decisions are predictable, responsible, and done in a timely manner with input from local governments and host communities. On March 3, 2021, the Office adopted comprehensive regulations including a set of uniform standards and conditions to implement the Act. The Office is designed to enable New York to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as required under New York’s nation-leading climate plan, enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. For more information on ORES, please visit www.ores.ny.gov.
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Combined 320 Megawatts of Solar Electric to Bring Over $54 Million to Local Economy