For Immediate Release: 09/28/21
John B. Howard, Chair
James Denn | James.Denn@dps.ny.gov | (518) 474-7080
September 28, 2021
Siting Board Approves Greene County Solar Farm
50 MW Solar Farm Will Produce Enough Electricity for 13,000 Average-Sized Homes Annually
Project Will Potentially Create Nearly 200 Manufacturing, Supply and Construction Jobs
Project’s Overall Economic Contributions Total $4 Million to $6 Million
ALBANY — The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) today granted approval to Hecate Energy Greene 1 LLC, Hecate Energy Greene 2 LLC, and Hecate Energy Greene County 3 LLC (Hecate Greene) to build and operate a 50 megawatt (MW) solar farm in the Town of Coxsackie, Greene County. The Siting Board’s decision follows a detailed review and robust public participation process to ensure that the solar farm meets or exceeds all siting requirements.
This solar farm and other renewable energy projects currently under development are vital to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s aggressive carbon reduction and clean energy targets to combat climate change.
According to the developer, the project could potentially create nearly 200 manufacturing, supply and construction jobs, as well as create additional opportunities for local construction and construction supply vendors.
The solar farm will result in annual payments to local landowners in association with the lease and easement agreements. The facility will be located on approximately 800 acres of privately leased or purchased land, including 356 acres under habitat protection.
The solar panels will be connected to the electric grid via infrastructure owned by the local utility. According to the developer, the 50 MW solar farm will produce enough electricity for 13,000 average-sized homes annually.
After reviewing the agreed-upon certificate conditions submitted by most of the parties, the Siting Board determined that the solar farm will be consistent with the energy policies and long-range planning objectives and strategies contained in the most recent State Energy Plan. Based on this, and based on its consideration of relevant social, economic and other factors, the Siting Board determined that the project will be a beneficial addition to the electric generation capacity of the State and will also serve the goals of improving fuel diversity, grid reliability, and modernization of grid infrastructure.
Hecate Greene’s formal application to the Siting Board was deemed compliant on Sept. 2, 2020. The 32 parties to the proceeding included several state agencies, the municipalities, citizen groups, and labor groups. The record includes more than 280 public comments. The Siting Board held on-the-record virtual public statement hearings and compiled an evidentiary record containing expert and factual testimony.
According to the developer, other significant project benefits will include the direct and indirect creation of jobs in construction and construction-related services, related supply chain jobs, jobs associated with induced impacts, and annual revenues for local economies during construction. Overall economic contributions from the project will be $4 million to $6 million.
This is the second solar farm approved for Greene County by the Siting Board. On August 4, 2021, the Siting Board approved the 100 MW Flint Mine solar farm in the Towns of Coxsackie and Athens, Greene County. In addition to providing much-needed clean energy, both projects will provide significant economic benefits for the region.
Based on this record, the construction and operation of the project is in the public interest. It is consistent with State policies and law and will provide significant benefits to the host communities and the surrounding region and the State.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
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 $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable 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 $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments supported more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, 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.
Today’s decision may be obtained by going to the Documents section of the Department of Public Service’s website at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Number 17-F-0619 in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number." Siting Board documents may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500). If you have difficulty understanding English, please call 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this press release.