Dix solar project gets approval
ALBANY--The New York state Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) announced Monday, Jan. 3 they have issued a final siting permit for a major solar facility, Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center, LLC. The Watkins project is a 50-megawatt solar electric facility in the Town of Dix, Schuyler County. This solar facility is expected to generate enough clean power to more than 12,000 New York homes and reduce carbon emissions by over 42,000 metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking more than 8,200 cars off the road every year.
The office's decision follows a review and public participation process to ensure that this solar facility meets or exceeds the requirements of Section 94-c of the Executive Law and its implementing regulations. This solar facility and other major renewable energy facilities permitted and currently under review will help meet the state goals detailed in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
"This project is in line with the state's commitment to ensure that its nation-leading pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects will be permitted in a timely, responsible manner while ensuring the protection of the environment and consideration of all pertinent social, economic, and environmental factors," said ORES Executive Director Houtan Moaveni. "We are laser focused on helping New York state achieve its nation-leading energy goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders as these facilities are constructed."
Under the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, New York created the nation's first Office of Renewable Energy Siting to improve and streamline the process for siting of large-scale renewable energy projects.
According to the state, this project will create over 125 temporary and full-time jobs and spur private investment to help stimulate the state's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Local taxing jurisdictions will receive payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) and other funding over the life of the project. Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center paid $50,000 in intervenor funds to enable municipal and community groups to fully participate in the review of the facilities.
Doreen M. Harris, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) president and CEO said, "It is exciting to see our state come together to respond to the enormity and urgency of climate change with support for advancing renewable energy. Having our legislative leaders, ORES and multiple agencies working in a coordinated fashion with local government to take action that will simultaneously reduce harmful emissions and bring economic benefits and jobs to the community is an inspiring occasion for all who feel a responsibility to future generations."
The project is owned by NextEra Energy Resources and will be located in close vicinity to the Watkins Glen International racetrack. Proposals show the primary location of the solar panels are to the west of the track, with Bronson Hill Road, Hedden Road, Baker Hill Road and Old Joe Road as boundaries and access points.