Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Solar project seeks builder

aerial show of woods and road and developed area

A state initiative to get more renewable energy projects up and running is starting in the Adirondacks. Spearheaded by the New York State Research and Development Authority, the “Build-Ready” program collects all the leases, permits and other groundwork necessary to get a renewable energy project up and running. The state then auctions the project off to a developer in the hopes that it will be a turn-key build.

The tailings pile of Benson Mines in St. Lawrence County is hosting the first project under this program, and the state announced last week it was ready to find a developer.

The solar project, however, has been reduced in its energy size. It was originally announced as a 20-megawatt solar facility, but it is now advertised as 12. The time and cost of grid upgrades were too costly, NYSERDA found, to support a larger project. But, permits are in hand for 20 megawatts, so, NYSERDA said, a developer could still decide to build a larger project. Read more here.


Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into a law a bill to rename an Essex County bridge after a state trooper, who was killed on duty in Crown Point. The bridge over Charley Hill Road, which crosses the Adirondack Northway in the town of Schroon, is now named the Trooper Lawrence P. Gleason Memorial Bridge.

Gleason, 28, was killed on Feb. 11, 2022 responding to a domestic violence incident. State Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, and Assemblyman Matthew Simpson, R-Horicon, sponsored a bill for the memorial bridge.

“Renaming this bridge is a small, but profound way, to acknowledge his life and make sure it lives on forever,” Stec said in a news release.

“To be a New York State Trooper is to make a binding commitment to serve and protect the public from danger,” Simpson said in a news release. “I thank Governor Hochul for ensuring we rightfully preserve the memory of Trooper Gleason to whom we remain forever indebted for his sacrifice.”

Public comment opportunities

View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/index.cfm. New public comment opportunities include:

  • Even church steeples are subject to the APA’s tower policy. St. Agnes Parish in the town of North Elba is seeking a permit to built a 14-foot, 5-inch-tall addition to an existing 63-foot-tall church steeple. The addition will include a 7-foot, 10-inch-tall mounted cross and result in an overall steeple height of 85 feet, 3 inches, according to the project description. Comments are due by Oct. 26. To view plans and submit a comment, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0174.
  • The Paradox Lake Association is applying for a permit to apply the aquatic herbicide ProcellaCOR EC within two treatment zones in Paradox Lake (Inlet and Narrows), to control invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. Comments are due by Oct. 26. To view the treatment area proposal and to submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0036.

Last week’s DEC environmental notice bulletin had some new projects in the region out for public comment.

  • The town of Champlain is proposing to add 5.2 acres to an existing five-acre life-of-mine area to a sand and gravel mine within a 48.8-acre parcel owned by John Stanzione. The project is on Pepper Hill Road. The proposal involves removing approximately 37,600 cubic yards of material over a five-year period. Mining is proposed entirely above the local water table. The final reclamation plan includes grading the slopes and planting grass cover to establish an open meadow environment. Comments are due by Nov. 3. For more information and to submit a comment, contact Benjamin M. Shubert, NYSDEC Region 5 Headquarters, 1115 St Rte 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977 or email DEP.R5@dec.ny.gov.
  • Adirondack Golf and Country Club in the town of Peru is seeking a permit to withdraw water for golf course irrigation. The facility would be permitted to withdraw up to 288,000 gallons per day from two wells and a pond with exiting infrastructure for golf course irrigation. The pond is connected to a state Department of Environmental Conservation-regulated wetland. Comments are due by Oct. 19. For more information or to submit comments, contact Erin M. Donhauser, NYSDEC Region 5 Headquarters, 1115 St Rte 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977 or email DEP.R5@dec.ny.gov.

An aerial show of Benson Mines in St. Lawrence County. Photo by Tom French

This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

One Response

  1. RLer says:

    Renewable energy production requires a battery farm. This means lithium batteries, and their potential for fire is not needed in the Adirondack Park. Put these projects outside the Park.

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