New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded long-term contracts for three solar projects to EDF Renewables North America as part of the 2021 solicitation for large-scale renewable energy certificates. Combined, the solar+ torage projects will deliver 1 GW of energy to the state.
The projects represent nearly 40% of the total 2,408 MW awarded; they are scheduled to come online by the end of 2025. Columbia Solar Energy Center is 350 MW AC of solar with 20 MW of co-located storage sited on approximately 2,000 acres in the towns of Columbia and Litchfield, Herkimer County. Ridge View Solar Energy Center is also 350 MW AC with 20 MW of co-located storage sited on approximately 2,000 acres in Hartland, Niagara County. Rich Road Solar Energy Center is a 240 MW AC solar project with 20 MW of co-located storage sited on approximately 1,500 acres in Canton, St. Lawrence County.
“The team has worked diligently to progress the development of our New York solar portfolio since 2017,” says Stephane Desdunes, senior director development of the Northeast region for EDF Renewables. “We are proud of the fact we have been awarded 1,313 MW of the 2020 and 2021 procurements and 1,483 MW in total since 2018. With more than 1,000 MW of solar and storage projects still in the development pipeline, EDF Renewables looks forward to working side by side with NYSERDA and New York State to achieve the 70 percent by 2030 goal and deliver clean energy to the residents of New York.”
“The region will benefit from procurement and employment opportunities throughout the development, construction and operational phases,” continues Desdunes. “Combined the projects will create approximately 1,290 prevailing wage and union construction jobs in upstate New York during peak construction and contribute millions of dollars to the counties, towns and school districts during the operational life of the projects.”
“Advancing large-scale solar projects like these newly awarded projects are helping to build out New York’s already massive renewable energy pipeline and are central to the State’s ability to create a zero-emission electricity grid,” adds Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “NYSERDA will work closely with EDF Renewables to ensure the communities hosting these projects are engaged throughout the development process and the responsible siting of them will not only help protect our valuable agricultural lands, but benefit the state and local economies alike.”
EDF Renewables’ community engagement plans for the Columbia, Rich Road and Ridge View Solar Projects include annual scholarships for students in the project area school districts with interest in the trades or clean energy, and an annual Sharing the Sun Fund for local community organizations during the construction phase whereby local review committees will select the awardees. Starting in 2024, EDF Renewables will also sponsor an online training course for the solar workforce and a hands-on workshop in partnership with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to bolster the local labor pipeline.
NYSERDA awarded EDF Renewables three projects totaling 303 MW AC and 10 MW of storage in the 2020 Renewable Energy Standard Solicitation and 170 MW AC in the 2018 Renewable Energy Standard Solicitation.