State ORES approves 200 megawatt solar project in Barre, Shelby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 September 2022 at 1:35 pm

Map from Community Energy Solar: The proposed 200 megawatt solar project in Barre and Shelby would be along Crane, Townline and Burns roads near the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

BARRE – Gov. Kathy Hochul announced today that the state has approved a 200 megawatt solar project in the towns of Barre and Shelby. Hemlock Ridge Solar covers about 2,000 acres with 80 percent in Barre and about 20 percent in Shelby.

The State Office of Renewable Energy issued siting permits to Community Energy’s Hemlock Ridge Solar, LLC and also a 120-megawatt project – Boralex’s Greens Corners Solar, LLC. The latter project is in the Towns of Hounsfield and Watertown in Jefferson County.

The permits from ORES are to develop, design, construct, operate, maintain and decommission two major solar energy facilities. These projects will bring a combined 320 megawatts of clean energy to New York homes and businesses and bring over $54 million to local economies, Hochul said.

“My administration has significantly accelerated our development of renewable energy since last year, and today we are further cementing our position as a leader in climate action,” Hochul said in a statement. “We will continue to follow through on our commitment to develop green energy throughout the state, and these projects bring us closer to surpassing our ambitious climate goals, creating well-paying green jobs, and creating a clean, healthy New York for future generations.”

Hemlock Ridge Solar will generate enough power for over 36,000 households and will offset 282,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year, Community Energy officials said. The project will go along Crane, Townline and Burns roads, about 5 miles southeast of Medina.

With today’s decision, ORES has now issued seven permits since 2021, with a majority of the decisions coming within six months of applications being deemed complete.

The Hemlock Ridge and Greens Corners solar facilities are expected to generate enough clean energy to power over 62,000 New York homes for at least 20 years and reduce carbon emissions by over 476,000 metric tons annually, Hochul said.

“New York is rapidly accelerating its development of large-scale renewable energy projects as part of our all-encompassing approach to transforming the state’s electricity grid,” said New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris. “The approval of these two projects – Greens Corner Solar and Hemlock Ridge Solar – is a major milestone in their journey towards commercial operation and demonstrates the productive engagement between project developers, local host governments, and community stakeholders to site these projects responsibly in support of the state’s clean energy targets.”