Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York State Office of Renewable Energy issued three siting permits that will deliver enough clean energy to power over 69,000 New York homes for at least 20 years. Today's announcement, when coupled with eight previously permitted facilities by the Office, marks the approval of 11 projects, totaling nearly 1.8 gigawatts since 2021. This marks the most rapid pace of renewable energy project approvals in state history. Including projects sited through the State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, New York has approved a total of 20 new renewable energy projects since 2021.
"Accelerating the development of renewable energy is a top priority to ensure we reach our climate goals, create jobs, and spur economic development across the state," Governor Hochul said. "We're cementing our position as a national leader in climate action, and these investments will help create a clean and healthy New York where future generations can thrive."
While meeting and exceeding all statutory deadlines, the New York State Office of Renewable Energy (ORES or the Office) decisions have demonstrated the effectiveness and efficacy of the permitting process for large-scale renewable energy projects in New York State as a model for addressing the most pressing existential crisis of our time - the threat of global climate change. Upon completion of extensive, transparent, and robust reviews of all 11 applications that included consideration of nearly 1,500 public and municipal comments, a majority of these energy facilities were approved within six months of applications being deemed complete. As these projects proceed, ORES will continue to work with local governments and community stakeholders throughout the development of all major renewable energy facilities.
Today's milestone underscores New York's leadership in the fight on climate change by accelerating the most ambitious state-led clean energy agenda in the nation, while also considering the protection of the environment and all pertinent social, economic, and environmental factors in the decisions to permit these facilities in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Office of Renewable Energy Siting Executive Director Houtan Moaveni said, "The success of the § 94-c siting process is attributed to staff at ORES and its partner State agencies, as well as all involved stakeholders including local officials, community members, environmental groups, labor unions and the clean energy industry dedicated to building a cleaner, more resilient New York. This process stands as a regulatory model to make the clean energy transition happen efficiently and effectively to meet our carbon-emission reduction targets, while ensuring robust protection of our natural resources and consideration of all pertinent social, economic, and environmental factors."
Three siting permits, totaling approximately 309 MW of renewable energy capacity are:
- Homer Solar Energy Center (90 MW Solar Electric Generating Facility in the Towns of Homer, Cortlandville, and Solon, Cortland County);
- Tracy Solar (119 MW Solar Electric Generating Facility in the Towns of Orleans and Clayton, Jefferson County); and
- Riverside Solar (100 MW Solar Electric Generating Facility located in the Towns of Lyme and Brownville, Jefferson County).
These projects are expected to provide nearly $20 million in the first 20 years to the host counties, towns, and school districts in the form of payment-in-lieu of taxes (PILOT) and host community agreements to invest in infrastructure, additional services, and resources for residents in the communities hosting each facility. Further, these projects are expected to spur over $458 million in capital investment and create over 460 short- and long-term jobs in development, construction, and facility operations and maintenance. Once operational, these projects will add 542,000 megawatts of new renewable capacity annually, and are expected to generate enough clean energy to power more than 69,000 homes each year and reduce carbon emissions by more than 356,000 metric tons annually, the equivalent to taking over 76,000 cars off the road every year.
Department of Public Service CEO and Chair of the State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment Rory M. Christian said, "The New York's continued advancement of renewable energy projects is vital to meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act's aggressive carbon reduction and clean energy targets to combat climate change. The approvals of these critically important solar farms will benefit all New Yorkers by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, boosting clean-energy investment, creating clean-energy jobs, and improving our environment."
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, "New York is moving faster than ever before with the advancement of large-scale renewable energy projects as we continue to transform the way homes and businesses across the State are powered. The approval of these three major solar facilities moves them closer to ultimately delivering clean energy to the electricity grid while helping to ensure that these projects are sited responsibly and bring forward substantial community and economic benefit."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "Investing in renewable energy is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and easing the strain on energy grids here in New York and across the nation, and I am pleased to see these three important projects approved. To achieve New York's nation-leading climate requirements outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, we must continue to make strides to reach our ultimate goal of 100 percent zero-emission electricity through commitments to renewable sources such as solar."
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner and Climate Action Council Member Roberta Reardon said, "Governor Hochul is positioning New York State as a global leader in the fight against climate change. These new facilities will help our state achieve its renewable energy goals while also creating exciting new employment opportunities for New Yorkers."
New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, "The New York League of Conservation Voters is thrilled to see the Office of Renewable Energy issue permits to Homer Solar Energy Center, Tracy Solar, and Riverside Solar for three new major solar energy facilities. We commend Governor Hochul for turning policies into projects on the ground, and ORES for conducting swift and thorough reviews of solar siting permits and moving New York one step closer to meeting its clean energy goals."
Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said, "These three solar projects - Homer, Tracy, Riverside - will bring the benefits of the clean energy transition to central and northern New York. Good, family-sustaining jobs; cleaner air; and a more diverse and secure energy network Statewide. When projects like these meet important milestones, it is good news for all New Yorkers."
Today's decisions may be obtained by going to the Office's website at https://ores.ny.gov/permit-applications.