If you think your voice doesn’t matter, maybe it doesn’t.
The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment—the Siting Board—is expected to approve the state’s first Article 10 solar project at a tele-meeting Thursday, January 7.
There will be no opportunity for public comment.
The project, of course, is East Point Energy’s NextEra 50-megawatt facility in the Town of Sharon.
The project first came to light three years ago; the deadline for a Siting Board decision is the end of January, but it’s long been expected to be issued before then and it’s expected to be made in East Point Energy’s favor.
“I hope careful consideration is given to the concerns of the town,” said Sharon Supervisor Sandy Manko, choosing her words carefully.
“The Siting Board has a tough decision weighing the interests of everyone to come up with the best solution for all parties.”
Bill Federice, chair of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, created an Energy Committee last January to come up with a “clean solar strategy” that would work, in part, to leverage green energy into economic opportunities.
Since then, much of the focus has been on coming up with a fair formula for solar project PILOTs and presenting a united, countywide front.
Because of its size, the Next Era project, off both sides of Route 20 and Gilbert’s Corners Road at Sharon Hill, is subject to state—not local—approval and permitting.
Developers haven’t yet applied for a PILOT.
While that means it should be taxed based on construction costs and without any breaks, no one expects that to happen.
Friday, after an executive session, supervisors unanimously agreed to recommend to the Industrial Development Agency—which now negotiates all solar PILOTs—that $20,000 per megawatt will be the accepted amount for any solar PILOT.
“I’m encouraged by that action and the united front taken by supervisors…” Ms. Manko said.
The January 7 hearing will take place at 2:30pm and can be accessed at www.dps.ny.gov/Webcasts.html.
The Siting Board will share an agenda prior to the meeting.