Consistent with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), enabling legislation at Executive Law 94-c and the Office’s regulations at 19 NYCRR Part 900, the mission of the Office of Renewable Energy Siting is to consolidate the environmental review and permitting of major renewable energy facilities in New York State into a single forum that provides a coordinated and timely review of siting permit applications. This process is designed to help meet the State’s renewable energy objectives while ensuring the protection of the environment with consideration of all pertinent social, economic and environmental factors (including environmental justice) while providing opportunity for local government and community participation in the permitting process.
All large-scale, renewable energy projects 25 megawatts or larger will be required to obtain a siting permit from the Office of Renewable Energy Siting for new construction or expansion. Projects already in the initial phases of the current Article 10 siting process through the State’s Siting Board may remain in Article 10 or opt to transfer into the new siting process. New projects sized between 20 and 25 megawatts may also elect to apply for a siting permit. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting has the authority to issue a single permit for the construction of major renewable energy facilities from both a state and local law perspective, but applicants will still be required to obtain any approvals necessary under federal law, including federally-delegated permits. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting has 60 days from the date of its receipt of a permit application to make a completeness determination. An application will not be complete without proof of consultation with the host municipalities and communities. After a completeness determination, draft permit conditions will be issued by the Office of Renewable Energy Siting for public comment. Within the established comment period, the host municipalities must submit a statement indicating whether the proposed renewable energy facility complies with applicable local laws. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting must issue a final decision on the siting permit within one year of the date on which the application is deemed complete and within 6 months if the facility is proposed to be located on brownfield, former commercial or industrial, landfill, former power plant, and abandoned or underutilized sites.