Five Boralex Inc. solar farms totaling 540 MW of generation and 77 MW of storage have been selected by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of its 2021 solicitation for utility-scale renewable energy certificates.
Once constructed, the solar farms will generate more than 1 TWh of solar electricity annually, enough to power more than 141,200 homes.
The selected projects will be located across upstate New York. Fort Covington Solar Farm is a 250 MW solar farm paired with a 77 MW storage project. The solar farm is in the Town of Fort Covington in Franklin County and is estimated to generate 473,040 MWh annually. Boralex is partnering with Savion LLC to develop the battery energy storage system, which has an anticipated 308 MWh energy storage capacity, and will be in the Town of Brookhaven’s hamlet of Yaphank in Suffolk County.
Newport Solar Farm is a 130 MW solar farm in the Town of Deerfield in Oneida County and Town of Newport in Herkimer County, estimated to generate 244,842 MWh annually.
Fort Edward Solar Farm is a 100 MW solar farm in the Towns of Argyle and Fort Edward in Washington County, estimated to generate 192,720 MWh annually. Foothills Solar Farm is a 40 MW solar farm in the Town of Mayfield in Fulton County, estimated to generate 75,336 MWh annually. Easton Solar Farm is a 20 MW solar farm located in the Town of Easton in Washington County, estimated to generate 38,369 MWh annually.
Further, in line with the company’s environmental, social and governance priorities, Boralex has created the Beyond Renewables Fund to provide support to host and disadvantaged communities. Resources will be given to local partners focused on STEM education and workforce development programming for the length of the facilities’ operations.
“This announcement solidifies Boralex’s role in New York State’s energy market during this critical expansion of renewable electricity generation,” says Patrick Decostre, president and CEO of Boralex. “These projects showcase the strategic, creative approaches to solar farm development and community engagement our reputation is built on. I am proud of the Boralex team and their efforts to create clean, competitive energy.”
“The large-scale solar projects announced, including five Boralex projects, bring New York State significantly closer to reaching our clean energy goals and transitioning us toward a zero-emission electricity system,” says Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “NYSERDA looks forward to working with Boralex to ensure these projects are advanced responsibly and with local input to allow host communities to realize the critical jobs and investments that will come from these solar farms.”
To further New York State’s goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030, NYSERDA launched its fifth request for proposals April 2021 for the purchase of New York Tier-1 Eligible Renewable Energy Certificates (REC). RECs represent renewable electricity entering the electricity grid. Each REC equals the environmental attributes of 1 MWh of electricity generated from a renewable source, such as solar.
This announcement begins a process for Boralex and NYSERDA to execute 20-year renewable energy standard agreements for the purchase of RECs associated with the energy production of the selected projects. The energy associated with the RECs must be consumed within New York State. The price of the RECs will be indexed to a reference energy and capacity price, which will hedge the projects’ merchant energy and capacity revenues, obviating a need for the projects to obtain a separate long term offtake agreement for the sale of energy and capacity.
“Fort Edward welcomes today’s news and is excited to be part of an effort to create clean, renewable energy,” states Fort Edward Town Supervisor Timothy Fisher. “We look forward to watching the project’s progress and the economic benefits attached to solar farm development.”
“At Cornell Cooperative Extension, we help our communities address youth development, economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being through education,” comments Brian Gilchrist, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Washington County, which will receive funding as part of Boralex’s community engagement plans. “Support from Boralex and their Beyond Renewables Fund will allow us to enhance our outreach and expand our programming, and we are excited to see how this partnership will grow over the next years and decades.”