NYSERDA Grants the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project a Commercial Contract

We are pleased to announce that on March 13, 2020, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced a 20-year Renewable Energy Credit (REC) commercial contract for the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project through the agency’s 2019 solicitation for large-scale renewables. The project is one of the 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects across New York to receive a contract award. In total, these projects will spur over $2.5 billion in direct, private investment and will create over 2,000 short- and long-term jobs. Please see www.southripleysolar.com/news for a link to the State’s announcement.

This contract is a major milestone for the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project. Now that this contract has been received, ConnectGen will be working to finalize all land agreements for the project. If you are interested in being included in the project but have not yet signed a lease or easement agreement, please contact Isaac Phillips (800-338-8905) at your earliest convenience. We want to make sure that everyone in the project area has the opportunity to participate before we finalize our land position.

NYSERDA

Our Response to Coronavirus

  • We are closely monitoring the local and state responses to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • For the time being, we have restricted domestic travel of all ConnectGen team members in order to protect our team and the communities in which we are involved.
  • If you need to get in touch with a team member, please reach out via phone (800-338-8905) or email (info@southripleysolar.com).
  • As we move through the state permitting process, we will endeavor to keep you updated on the status of our Preliminary Scoping Statement filing and the different ways in which you can be involved.
  • We are committed to holding public open house meetings around the time of each major filing throughout the state permitting process and plan to hold an open house once state and local restrictions have been lifted.

Where is the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project in the New York State Permitting Process?

The South Ripley Solar & Storage Project is currently in the first stage (Pre-Application Stage) of the state permitting process, which requires the study of the environmental, public health, and public safety impacts, as well as the incorporation of extensive public input and local stakeholder engagement into the development, design, and construction of solar energy projects. We filed our final Public Involvement Plan on October 30, 2019 and are currently developing our Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS), which we anticipate filing by the end of April. The PSS will be provided to state and municipal agencies, state and local officials, and local libraries, and a notice summarizing the PSS will also be placed in local newspapers. The major components of a PSS include:

  • Proposed facility and environmental setting
  • Potential significant, adverse environmental and health impacts and measures to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts
  • Plans to study visual impacts, including the production of visual simulations
  • Reasonable Alternatives
  • Plans to study decommissioning and socioeconomic impacts
  • Local, State, and Federal regulatory requirements

Once the PSS is submitted, circulated and properly noticed, and after at least half of the intervenor funds have been awarded, consultation begins with interested parties on the methodology and scope of impact studies. There is a 21-day period for the public to comment on the PSS, and we have 21 days to respond to all comments received. To learn more about Intervenor Funding, visit www.southripleysolar.com/article-10-process.

Environmental Surveys Begin

Consistent with state permitting requirements and our commitment to developing an environmentally responsible project, we have initiated environmental surveying of the South Ripley Solar & Storage project area. Through the spring, summer, and early fall of 2020, you may see teams of surveyors throughout the South Ripley community, both parked off public roads and accessing participating parcels. Please don’t hesitate to contact the ConnectGen team if you have any questions or concerns about local surveying activities.

The South Ripley Solar & Storage Project Gets Involved in the Ripley Community

We understand from firsthand experience that it is essential to be an active part of the communities in which we work. We seek to establish meaningful relationships that translate into long-term partnerships with local communities, and we strive to build trust, credibility, and support by working in close coordination with local organizations, schools, and community members.

We are pleased to have supported the following organizations in Chautauqua County in 2019 and look forward to staying involved in 2020:

  • Great Blue Heron Music Festival
  • Findley Lake Harvest Festival
  • Ripley Elementary School Table or Treat
  • Ripley Elementary School Student Work Showcase
  • South Ripley Firehall Holiday Extravaganza

If there are any other community events that we should be a part of, please let us know!

The South Ripley Solar & Storage Project Will Bring Long-Term Economic Benefits to Chautauqua County

Once constructed, the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project will contribute millions in revenue to the Town of Ripley, Chautauqua County, and the Sherman School District. We anticipate that PILOT and HCA payments to local taxing jurisdictions could total over $15 million throughout the life of the project. These funds can be used to support government services and infrastructure, such as county road enhancements. The South Ripley Solar & Storage Project will bring other socioeconomic benefits to the local community, including the purchase of goods and services from local shops, hotels, restaurants and construction material suppliers, as well as direct lease payments to participating landowners. We anticipate that the short- and long-term payments and other benefits to the local community could total up to $40 million.

Local Business Opportunities

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar energy supported more than 250,000 family wage American jobs in 2019, including approximately 10,740 jobs in the State of New York.

We are in the process of identifying qualified local and regional businesses that could assist with the development, construction and maintenance of the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project. Please visit www.southripleysolar.com/local-business-opportunities to see a list of business opportunities and to help us understand your business capabilities. We look forward to hearing from you.

In Support of the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project? Let Us Know!

If you are in support of the South Ripley Solar & Storage Project and the long-term benefits that it will bring to the Town of Ripley and Chautauqua County, we would love to hear from you. Call Erin Szalkowski at 713-412-6436 to learn about the different ways that you can show your support.

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