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N.Y. Board on Electric Generation Siting & Environment: Siting Board Approves Montgomery County Solar Farm

Source: 
Targeted News Service (Press Releases)

ALBANY, New York, Nov. 20 -- The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment issued the following news release on Nov. 19:

The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) today granted approval to Mohawk Solar LLC to build and operate a 90.5 megawatt (MW) solar farm in the Towns of Canajoharie and Minden, Montgomery 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 solar and wind projects currently under development are vital to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act's (CLCPA) aggressive carbon reduction and clean energy targets to combat climate change.

"In keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's ambitious goals for carbon reduction and for a cleanenergy economy, we must develop the clean energy resources in New York State needed to help all New Yorkers," said Siting Board Chair John B. Rhodes. "Our decision today to approve Mohawk Solar will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and demonstrates that renewable energy works in New York and helps move us toward a clean energy future."

According to the developer, the 90.5 MW project is expected to create 369 construction jobs that will pay $11 million in wages, and opportunities for local construction and construction supply vendors as well as five permanent, full-time jobs. The solar farm will result in annual payments of $600,000 to local landowners in association with the lease and easement agreements. The developer expects to execute a PILOT agreement with local municipalities over the next 15 years valued at $5.2 million in total.

The facility will be located on approximately 900 acres of privately leased land. The project will provide economic benefits by creating direct jobs, will generate revenues for local governments through payments in lieu of taxes agreements, and will provide revenues for participating landowners through lease and other agreements.

The Siting Board examiners 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 other 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.

Mohawk Solar's formal application to the Siting Board was deemed compliant on Nov. 21, 2019. The 17 parties to the proceeding included local municipalities and several state agencies. The record includes 20 public comments. The Siting Board held an on-the-record public statement hearing and conducted evidentiary hearings at which expert and factual testimony was taken. Municipalities that sought intervention in the case were eligible to receive $118,000 in intervenor funds to participate in the development of the record.

Today's decision demonstrates how New York is working to achieve Governor Cuomo'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 achieving 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 ramp-up of clean energy including a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while meeting a goal to deliver 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtus.

Today's decision may be obtained by going to the Documents section of the Department of Public Service's Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Number 17-F-0182 in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number". Department 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.

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