RIVERHEAD SOLAR 2
Will generate – 72,345 MWh per year
Will power over 8,500 average homes per year
Will offset – Approximately 73,000 tons of CO2 per year
Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (“Riverhead Solar 2” or the “Applicant”), a subsidiary of sPower, 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”).
Public Involvement Plan (PIP)
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.
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.
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 were held on March 14, 2018 from 1 pm to 3 pm, and from 5 pm to 7 pm, at the Residence Inn Long Island East End, 2012 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY 11901.
Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS)
In September 2018, Riverhead Solar 2 filed a Preliminary Scoping Statement (“PSS”) that summarizes the proposed scope and methodology of studies Riverhead 2 Solar will undertake in support of a future Article 10 Application. This filing of the PSS kicked off the Article 10 scoping phase, beginning with a 21-day public comment period on the scope and methodology of the studies proposed.
The PSS document, among other things, described and identified the environmental setting in the area where the Facility is proposed, the potential environmental and community impacts from construction and operation of the Facility, and anticipated benefits of the Facility on the environment and local community, as well as on the State’s achievement of its renewable energy generation goals.
The PSS also identified and described the environmental studies Riverhead Solar 2 has conducted during the Article 10 process to assess potential impacts to land uses in the Facility area; public health and safety; ecological resources, protected species and habitats, and water resources; communications, transportation, and utilities; cultural, historical and recreational resources; visual impacts and screening; sound; and impacts on the statewide electrical system, among others.
After many months of negotiations, stipulations were released for public comment in October 2019, and fully executed stipulations were filed in March 2020.
Article 10 Application
The next phase of the Article 10 process will involve filing of the Riverhead Solar 2 Application, which will include the studies agreed to during the scoping and stipulations phase, as well as detailed information about the proposed Facility. Riverhead Solar 2 anticipates filing the Application in June 2020. Notices will be circulated to local residents, and published in local newspapers, as set forth in the Public Involvement Program (PIP) Plan.
On June 25, 2020, Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (the Applicant) provided a “Notice of Submission of Application” which states that on or about June 29th, 2020, the Applicant will file an Application pursuant to 16 NYCRR 1000.6 seeking a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) authorizing the construction and operation of the Facility.
To facilitate participation in the upcoming Application and Hearings phases of the Article 10 process, Riverhead Solar 2 will submit $36,000 toward an intervenor fund, to be disbursed by the Hearing Examiners to host municipalities and local groups seeking to participate in review of the Application. By law, at least fifty percent of this fund will be set aside for municipal parties. Instructions for accessing these funds will be issued by the Examiners once the Application is filed.
Members of the public will have opportunities to review the Application materials online and at local document repositories, to submit public comments on the Siting Board’s website, and to make formal comments on the record at Public Statement Hearings, which will be scheduled soon after the State determines the Riverhead Solar 2 Application complies with Article 10’s requirements. The Siting Board will then have one year from that compliance determination to make a decision on the Application.
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 MWac solar project located in the Town of Riverhead in Suffolk County, NY. Consistent with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the 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 approx..  acres of non-contiguous parcels. 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 (PV) panels installed on solar projects 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 community benefit payments, property tax revenue to the community, and lease revenue to local landowners. 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 is provided by the Applicant 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 1.5 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 the permitting process for power plants of 25 MW or greater.
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.
About sPower: sPower, an AES and AIMCo company, is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States. sPower owns and operates a portfolio of solar and wind assets greater than 2.0 GWs and has a development pipeline of more than 10 GWs. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a worldwide energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. For more information, visit www.spower.com.
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