Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (“Riverhead Solar 2”), a subsidiary of sPower (the “applicant”), is seeking authority from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (the “Siting Board”) to construct a 36 megawatt (“MW”) alternating current (“AC”) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility (the “Project”) in the Town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York, pursuant to Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law (“PSL”).
On October 20, 2017, Riverhead Solar 2, LLC, a subsidiary of sPower, filed a Public Involvement Program Plan (“PIP”) with the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (the “Siting Board”). The PIP, filed pursuant to Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law and associated regulations (16 NYCRR Part 1000), is the first step in the process to obtain the requisite approvals from the Siting Board to construct the Project. In the PIP, Riverhead Solar 2 committed to, among other outreach activities, holding open-house style meetings to educate interested parties, receive public comment and answer questions about the Project. The first two of these meetings will be held on March 14, 2018 from 1 pm to 3 pm, and from 5 pm to 7 pm, both at the Residence Inn Long Island East End, 2012 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY 11901.
In Spring 2018, Riverhead Solar 2 will file a Preliminary Scoping Statement (“PSS”) that summarizes the proposed scope of studies Riverhead Solar 2 will undertake – the results of which will form the basis of its Application to the Siting Board. Within twenty-one (21) days after the PSS is filed, any person, agency or municipality may submit comments on the PSS by serving such comments on the Applicant and filing a copy with the Secretary to the Siting Board. Comments must reference the project Case Number (17-F-0655) and may be submitted in writing to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary to the Siting Board, New York State Public Service Commission, Agency Building 3, Albany, NY 12223-1350 or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted on the project docket’s public comments tab. Hard copies of important project documents, including the PIP and PSS, will be filed at the Local Document Repositories listed below.
Any interested person may also file a written request with the Secretary to receive copies of all notices concerning the Project. Additional information can be found on the Siting Board’s website located at www.dps.ny.gov/SitingBoard. Documents filed in this proceeding may also be viewed online at the Public Service Commission’s (“PSC”) website located at www.dps.ny.gov by clicking “Search” on the homepage and then entering Case Number 17-F-0655 in the field “Search by Case Number.” Interested parties may also subscribe to the service list or request party status by accessing this proceeding through the PSC’s website.
Local Document Repositories:
Riverhead Free Library
330 Court Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
Riverhead Solar 2, LLC
c/o Young & Somner, LLC
Executive Woods, Five Palisades Drive
Albany, NY 12205
Riverhead Solar 2 is a proposed 36 MW-AC solar project located in the Town of Riverhead in Suffolk County, NY. Consistent with the NY Clean Energy Standard, which supports the development of clean energy and renewable resources in New York State, the project will safely generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power over 8,500 households and offset approximately 73,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.
Riverhead Solar 2 will be sited on approximately 175 acres of non-contiguous parcels, interspersed with ongoing agricultural activity. Land leases with private landowners will provide a consistent revenue stream for local farmers and residents for the life of the project, in excess of typical farm income. The project will use the same type of photovoltaic panels installed on over one million homes in the United States. Solar equipment is a proven and safe technology in applications from fields to rooftops of homes, schools and businesses.
The project will provide a significant economic stimulus to the area during construction by providing jobs and local contracts for goods and services, and significant long-term economic benefits through lease revenue to local landowners and property tax revenue to the community. Additionally, the project will benefit the state of New York through its payment of corporate income tax on income from the project.
Responsibly sited solar facilities can provide a net benefit to the preservation of agricultural land. The facility is not a permanent structure and funding will be provided to decommission the project at the end of its useful life. The project essentially provides a form of preservation for agricultural land by maintaining permeable land surface and improving soil quality over the project life. After decommissioning, the project leaves no trace so land can be returned to agricultural use. Setbacks, fencing and landscape buffering enable solar projects to blend comfortably into the community.
sPower has developed over 1 gigawatt (GW) of wind and solar facilities. We value our relationships with local stakeholders and we work closely with local communities to ensure our projects will be good neighbors for many years.
The Power NY Act of 2011 established a process for the siting of electric generating facilities by creating Article 10 of the New York Public Service Law (“Article 10”). As part of the process, a multi-agency Siting Board is charged with streamlining the permitting process for power plants of 25 MW or greater. The Power NY Act also encourages investments in clean power plants and affords communities more opportunities to participate in the siting process.
Article 10 requires careful consideration of compliance with local laws and ordinances; investigation of potential environmental, socioeconomic and public health impacts; and analysis regarding environmental justice and public safety. Article 10 also establishes key mechanisms to encourage local outreach and support public involvement in the Siting Board proceedings.
The Siting Board’s rules require that applicants proposing to submit an application under Article 10 initiate the regulatory review process by first filing a Public Involvement Program Plan (“PIP”) with the New York State Department of Public Service (“DPS”). Under the Siting Board’s rules, the PIP must be submitted to the DPS for review at least 150 days prior to filing a Preliminary Scoping Statement (“PSS”).
The purpose of the PIP is to introduce the project to the local community and other interested parties, explain the public outreach and involvement efforts that Riverhead Solar 2 will pursue throughout the development of the project, and explain how these efforts comply with and satisfy New York State’s legal and regulatory requirements. The development efforts and the proposed PIP for Riverhead Solar 2 focus first and foremost on early and frequent communication with host communities, including the Town of Riverhead, the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County.
A draft PIP was filed with the DPS on October 20, 2017, initiating a 30-day DPS review and comment period. The DPS provided comments to the PIP on November 20, 2017. Riverhead Solar 2 filed the final PIP on December 20, 2017. This webpage will be updated with new information as the project moves through the development and certification process.
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