The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment on Jan. 7 said that it has granted conditional approval to East Point Energy Center, LLC to build and operate a 50-MW solar energy project in the Town of Sharon in Schoharie County, N.Y.
As noted in the statement, the facility will deliver electricity to the bulk electric transmission system owned by National Grid with a point of interconnection at the existing Sharon-Marshville 69-kV transmission line.
According to the board’s Jan. 7 order granting a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, the East Point Solar Electric Generating Facility will consist of about 350 acres of photovoltaic (PV) solar electric generating panels located on about 1,300 acres of private land, either leased or purchased from the landowners, located in the town.
Public comments submitted regarding the project reflect that there is opposition to, and support of, the project among the local community, the board said. While comments in support of the project note that it will provide economic benefits to the community, comments in opposition to the project note how the project will affect property taxes and property values, for instance, the board said.
A settlement proposal was filed in June 2020 and updated in August 2020, the board said, noting that the proposal includes largely agreed-upon certificate conditions.
Among other things, the certificate conditions note that the certificate will automatically expire in seven years from the date of issuance of the certificate unless East Point Energy Center has completed construction and began commercial operation of the facility prior to said expiration date, or has obtained an extension of that deadline from the board secretary or the commission, as the case may be.
In addition, the conditions note that East Point Energy Center is to, at least 60 days prior to starting construction, contact all known pipeline operators within the project area on which project facilities are to be located within the pipeline easement and, if applicable, is to reach an agreement with each operator to provide that the collection system will not damage any identified pipeline’s cathodic protection system or produce damage to the pipeline, either with fault current or from a direct strike of lightning to the collection system, or the 69-kV interconnection line.
Another condition includes that East Point Energy Center will implement an environmental compliance and monitoring program, as well as file it as an information filing prior to beginning construction.
The filing further noted that an invasive species management and control plan is to be submitted prior to beginning construction as an informational filing, with that plan to include pre-construction invasive species control if necessary, construction materials inspection and sanitation, invasive species treatment and removal, as well as site restoration in accordance with the facility’s final approved storm water pollution prevention plan.
As TransmissionHub reported, East Point Energy Center is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC.