Riverhead Solar 2 Project

Riverhead Solar 2 Project

Riverhead Solar 2 Project

The Riverhead Solar 2 Project is a 36 megawatt (MWac) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility proposed to be located in the town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York. The project is anticipated to positively impact both the environment and the local economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 73,000 metric tons each year – powering an estimated 8,500 homes each year – and producing significant tax revenue and other economic benefits for the area.

Permitting Process

Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (“Riverhead Solar 2” or the “Applicant”), a subsidiary of sPower, is seeking authority from the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) 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”).

On January 11, 2020, Riverhead Solar 2 filed its Transfer Application with the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) to transfer to the 94-c permitting process. A new matter number and case docket has been created on DMM. The Transfer Application materials can now be found at http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=21-00024&CaseSearch=Search.  The new matter number is 21-00024.

Any party wishing to remain a party under the 94-c process is encouraged to review the draft 94-c regulations (https://ores.ny.gov/regulations) and to contact the ORES office with any questions at: [email protected].

Within thirty (30) days of the date of the filing of the Transfer Application any local agency or potential community intervenor seeking funding from the local agency account must submit a request for initial funding to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting, at 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12231, Attention: Request for Local Agency Account Funding. Again, if you have questions regarding this process please contact the ORES office with any questions.

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 and Transition to Section 94-c.

On June 29, 2020, Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (“Riverhead Solar 2” or “Applicant”) submitted an Article 10 Application under Article 10 of the Public Service Law to construct and operate an approximately 36-megawatt (MW) solar project located in the Town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York (“the Facility” or “the Project”). On September 17, 2020, the Applicant submitted an Application Supplement that included a response to deficiencies in the Article 10 Application identified as the identified by the Siting Board. On October 16, 2020 the Siting Board determined that the Article 10 Application together with the supplemental filing made on September 17, 2020 complied with Public Service Law Section 164.

On November 25, 2020, the Applicant filed a letter with the Secretary to the Public Service Commission noticing its election to be subject to Executive Law Section 94-c and stating its intent to file a Transfer Application with the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”). Transfer Application submittal is anticipated to be on or around January 8, 2021.

With the filing of the Transfer Application, Riverhead Solar 2 will submit a fee ($1,000 for each MW) to ORES which will be deposited into a local agency account for local agencies and potential community intervenors to use to participate in public comment periods or hearings. Within 30 days of the date of the Transfer Application filing with ORES, any local agency or potential community intervenor can request funding from the local agency account by making such request to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting, Attention: Request for Local Agency Account Funding, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12231-0001.

Once the Transfer Application and supporting materials are submitted to ORES the Transfer Application will be deemed complete and ORES will be required to make a final decision on the Application within one year, in accordance with 94-c. No later than sixty (60) days following the filing of the Transfer Application ORES will issue a combined notice of availability of draft permit conditions and will provide additional details regarding the public comment period and public comment hearing, and issues determination process.

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.”

Local Document Repositories:
Riverhead Free Library
330 Court Street
Riverhead, NY 11901

Local Representative:
Riverhead Solar 2, LLC
c/o Young & Somner, LLC
Executive Woods, Five Palisades Drive
Albany, NY 12205
518-438-9907

Riverhead Solar 2 will be sited on approximately [290] 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.

Section 94-c

Section 94-c created a newly-established Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”), within the New York State Department of State, to provide a single forum for the environmental review and permitting of proposed major renewable energy facilitates, which includes renewable energy systems with a nameplate generating capacity of 25,000 kilowatts or more, co-located energy storage systems, and electric transmission facilities less than 10 miles in length. Additionally, while Article 10 applications that have received a completeness determination will be deemed complete under the new 94-c Process, the Act allows projects currently undergoing the Article 10 siting process to either remain in Article 10 or opt-in to the new expedited process established under Executive Law Section 94-c. The proposed rules and regulations by the ORES include an expedited permitting process to account for matters and issues already presented and resolved in the alternate Article 10 proceedings. You can find the proposed regulations at https://ores.ny.gov/regulations.

About sPower:

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a regional office in Brooklyn, New York, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and operates a wind, solar, and storage portfolio of nearly 2,000 megawatts. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a Fortune 500 global power company, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers. For more information about sPower in New York, visit www.spower.com/ny

About AES:

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global energy company accelerating the future of energy. Together with our many stakeholders, we’re improving lives by delivering the greener, smarter energy solutions the world needs. Our diverse workforce is committed to continuous innovation and operational excellence, while partnering with our customers on their strategic energy transitions and continuing to meet their energy needs today. For more information, visit www.aes.com/even-better-together/.

sPower, a leading renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP), announced an agreement by the Company’s owners, The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), to merge with AES’ US-based clean energy development business. AES’ wholly-owned clean energy development business includes AES Distributed Energy and a wind development team formerly part of Advance Energy. The merged business will represent one of the top renewables growth platforms and be focused on accelerating the safe, reliable transition to cleaner energy solutions in the US. The merge is expected to close in early 2021.

Contact Info:
Project Developer: Michael Farrell, Senior Manager, Solar Development
Phone: +1 (718) 909-4486
Email: [email protected]

Contact Us for More Information:

Project Specifications

Calverton, New York
  • Construction start: TBD
  • Expected Operational Date: October 31, 2022
36 MWac
Planned Capacity
229-348
Construction Jobs
3-5
FT Jobs
$10+ Million
Tax Revenue

To learn more about Riverhead Solar 2, please visit  https://www.spower.com/riverhead-2/

Project information is approximate and subject to change.