Hecate Energy’s application for its proposed 500 MW Cider Solar Farm in the towns of Elba and Oakfield, N.Y., has been deemed complete by the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES). If approved by ORES, Cider Solar Farm would be the largest solar project permitted and constructed to date in New York.
Established by Section 94-c of Executive Law, ORES is the newly established state office charged with implementing timely consolidated review and permitting for major renewable energy facilities in New York State. Its acceptance of the Cider Solar Farm application is the first time ORES has deemed a renewable energy application complete.
“This is the first 94-c application to be deemed complete by ORES, which is a significant milestone for renewable energy in New York,” says Harrison Luna, Cider Solar Farm’s project developer. “The establishment of ORES and the 94-c permit process underpins the state’s commitment to support sustainable power, and we’re fortunate to be in position to use it to bring clean, homegrown electricity to Genesee County. We are encouraged both by the transparency brought to the permitting process by ORES and the comprehensiveness of that process, and we believe this project will be an excellent addition to the next generation of sustainable power supply in New York State.”
The completed permitting application for Cider Solar Farm was extensive and comprehensive. It included six bound volumes and more than 96,000 pages of detailed analysis of data from studies assessing the proposed project’s effect on the host communities. Surveys were commissioned regarding a wide range environmental, cultural, land use, and socioeconomic considerations such as wetlands and streams, wildlife habitat, nearby traffic patterns, cultural resources, noise and vibrations, visual effects from nearby areas, site security and other potential concerns.
If approved by ORES, Cider Solar Farm would be built on nearly 3,000 acres in the towns of Elba and Oakfield in Genesee County.
“For years people have talked about bringing economic development to upstate New York. This milestone is a very positive sign to other developers who are considering bringing their investment, jobs and sustainable energy projects to this region,” adds Luna. “The New York State Legislature, Governor Hochul and ORES are to be commended for following through and making this happen. Together with the renewable energy industry, we are finally bringing long-term, sustainable economic development to the upstate region.”