The South Ripley Solar State Permit Application has been Filed!
On Monday, August 9, 2021, ConnectGen filed its Application for a Permit Pursuant to Section 94-c of the New York Executive Law for Construction of the South Ripley Solar Project. The full application and all related exhibits and appendices can be found under the Materials section of our website, on the project-specific DMM page (linked to from the 94-c section of the project website), or at the Ripley Town Clerk’s Office and the Ripley Library.
Next Steps and Timing
The Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) is in the process of reviewing our application. We expect the full review process to take approximately 12 months. Additional major project milestones include:
- Approved ORES Permit for Construction: Fall 2022
- Start of Construction: Fall 2022
- Completion of Construction: Fall 2023
- Energization and Project Operation: Winter 2023
The South Ripley Solar Project will Support the Town of Ripley for Decades
The South Ripley Solar Project will bring long-term economic growth to the Town of Ripley, Chautauqua County, and the Sherman and Ripley School Districts through a Host Community Agreement and a PILOT tax agreement. The tax payments from the Project to the local taxing jurisdictions are estimated to amount to more than $53 million dollars over the project’s operating life and will provide the Town of Ripley with annual payments equivalent to over 70% of the Town’s property tax levy. We look forward to continuing to work with the Town of Ripley, Chautauqua County, and the Sherman and Ripley School Districts to provide long-term economic certainty and security for the local community.
ConnectGen in the Community
Supporting the communities that host our projects is an important part of what we do. We are pleased to have sponsored the following local organizations in 2021, and we look forward to staying involved going forward:
- Ripley Library
- Meeder’s Restaurant
- Ripley Heritage Foundation
- Ragin’ Raisins Wrestling Club
- Girl Scouts of Western New York (Troops 20061, 20089, 20153)
If there are any other local events or organizations we should be involved with, please let us know! It’s our goal to be engaged with and supportive of the Ripley community.
Myth: The South Ripley Solar Project will result in a permanent loss of farmland.
Fact: Solar projects are low impact and co-exist well with agriculture, operating without any impact to adjacent agricultural properties. During the solar project’s 30 year or more lifespan, the land hosting the project gets a recovery period, allowing the soil to restore fertility and rebuild. Native vegetation can grow under the panels, allowing the land to retain water and topsoil and improving soil health over time, which can increase the productivity and value of the land for agriculture in the future.
At the end of the solar project’s useful life, the project is decommissioned, and the land can be returned to agricultural use. In addition, a solar project can offer a consistent, weather-resistant source of income for farmers and their local economies, providing an alternative “crop” that diversifies farmers’ revenues.
Myth: If a Battery Energy Storage System explodes, it will result in a 7 to 10-mile evacuation area.
Fact: This is patently false. The risk of fire or explosion for a battery storage project is extremely low, and the scope of impact would be limited to within the fence line around the battery. The materials used in battery energy storage projects are like those found in any lithium-ion based battery, such as those used in every-day items like cell phones and medical equipment. The active materials are stored throughout multiple batteries in the system, which are protected from release through redundancy safety measures. Battery manufacturers design the systems to contain any release within the overall battery storage system enclosures, and our Emergency Response Plan will provide details regarding how to address any such occurrence.
Battery manufacturers perform extensive testing before deployment, and energy storage systems are required to be designed to high safety standards with fire suppression systems. These systems are designed with multiple layers of risk monitoring and mitigation in place. In addition, the site will be remotely monitored 24/7 by trained personnel to ensure no abnormalities are occurring on the system. Internal fire suppression and ventilation systems are designed as backstop protection should any abnormality occur. Moreover, the remote-control center has the ability to emergency stop the system in addition to the on-site safety design measures.
We will work closely and collaboratively with the local departments and authorities and will provide emergency response training to all emergency response personnel. After construction is complete, we will host the emergency response personnel for a site visit to make sure they are familiar with the system and our Emergency Response Plan. Additionally, ConnectGen will ensure that annual emergency response training sessions are available to all local departments and authorities as needed.
*Please visit our website for more information and links to supporting citations.
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In Support of the South Ripley Solar Project? Let Us Know!
If you are in support of the South Ripley Solar 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 (800) 338-8905 or email email@example.com to learn about the different ways you can show your support.