In June of 2022 Columbia Solar Energy Center, LLC was awarded a contract by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the development of a 350 MW solar facility with 20 MW of co-located battery energy storage located in the towns of Litchfield and Columbia, Herkimer County. Columbia Solar Energy Center, LLC is an EDF Renewables affiliate. The Project is anticipated to be sited on approximately 2,200 acres of land. It will connect to the grid at a new Point of Interconnection in the Town of Columbia.
EDF Renewables previously applied for a permit to construct the Columbia Solar Energy Center back in 2019 under Public Service Law Article 10. EDF filed a notice of intent to transfer the Application to 94-c in March of 2021. According to the Project website, it appears that EDF Renewables intends to submit its application for a siting permit to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) pursuant to Executive Law 94-c in early 2023 with a prospective commercial operation date in 2026. 94-c provides an expedited permitting process for the siting of large-scale renewable energy projects.
Under the expedited permitting process, local governments are required to assess whether a project can comply with local laws, and to provide information about such compliance to ORES. Local agencies such as town and county governments, as well as private citizens and community groups, can apply for state managed “local agency” funding to, at least, partially offset the cost of participating in the ORES siting process. The money can be used for retention of attorneys, experts, and engineers. Such attorneys and experts can assist the local agency in tasks including reviewing project applications and potential impacts, advocating for a local government’s interests in the ORES proceeding, reviewing whether a project can comply with all applicable local laws and preparing required reports for review by ORES, and submitting comments on the draft permit.
The Zoghlin Group, PLLC, represents individuals, municipalities and other clients with power plant siting, environmental law, zoning and land use law, and municipal law. We provide legal services to local governments and interest groups across New York State. We also assist municipalities with PILOT and Host Community Agreement negotiations.
For inquiries about Columbia Solar and the process for siting large power plants pursuant to 94-c of the Executive Law and/or Articles 7 and 68 of the New York State Public Service Law, please contact Bridget O’Toole, Esq.
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