Photo voltaic and wind tasks all through New York state — together with these in Chautauqua County — might face new guidelines and extra native scrutiny if a latest court docket submitting is profitable.
Final week, native governments, neighborhood organizations and conservation and public curiosity teams throughout New York had been set to file a lawsuit towards the state Workplace of Renewable Power Siting asserting a violation of New York State Environmental High quality Assessment Act. The lawsuit seeks to overturn rules setting normal uniform circumstances relevant to all renewable vitality tasks within the state, which retains native remark out of the equation. The coalition of plaintiffs alleges the panel didn’t acknowledge that its rules for siting energy vegetation might end in even one vital antagonistic environmental affect, and because of this failed to arrange and environmental affect assertion.
The transfer marks one of many first challenges towards the state workplace,which was just lately created as a part of Accelerated Renewable Power Progress and Neighborhood Profit Act within the 2020-21 state price range.
The company was created to fast-track siting for proposed industrial-scale renewable vitality tasks, and to help New York in assembly its aggressive renewable vitality objectives. In creating a brand new vitality plant siting course of, the state company ignored 1000’s of public feedback in prioritizing velocity over the sturdy assessment of environmental impacts. New York State Environmental High quality Assessment Act requires “all state and native authorities companies to think about environmental impacts equally with social and financial components” when taking authorities motion.
Rising concern surrounding the unexpected consequence of New York state’s new expedited siting course of was partially sparked by Hecate Power’s proposed Shepherd’s Run photo voltaic facility in rural Copake and Craryville in Columbia County. The commercial-scale photo voltaic facility is proposed for greater than 250 acres of pure assets, panorama, farmland in Copake. In 2017, the city of Copake enacted a prohibition on photo voltaic vitality tasks better than 10 acres to make sure that builders respect its pure assets, farmland, wildlife, rural viewsheds, property values, and agriculture-and tourism-centric economic system.
In response, Chicago-based Hecate Power has dedicated to utilizing the New York state course of to bypass the city of Copake’s planning board and zoning legal guidelines, in addition to overwhelming neighborhood opposition and concern.
Regionally, photo voltaic tasks are going through some pushback in Pomfret and in Ripley the place the South Ripley Photo voltaic Mission is proposing a 270 megawatt massive scale-solar undertaking, which will probably be situated solely throughout the city boundaries. The undertaking will embody a 20 MW of battery vitality storage element and is predicted to price round $348 million to assemble.
Wind tasks, notably in Arkwright, Cassadaga, have just lately been accomplished. One other slated to be executed in Villenova might have towers practically 600 toes. All these efforts, regardless of some protest, had been domestically authorised.
The swimsuit will search a brief restraining order and a preliminary injunction to invalidate the state Workplace of Renewable Power Siting rules, and to require the company to undertake new rules primarily based on efficiency of a full environmental affect assertion learning the environmental results that might consequence statewide from permits for large-scale renewable vitality installations.
At the moment’s breaking information and extra in your inbox