Posts Tagged ‘solar’

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.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Big solar, plus APA court decisions

Solar panels

I sifted through the new Office of Renewable Energy Siting’s regulations and talked to some state and nonprofit sources about large-scale solar projects and the permitting process. Some of you have had questions about solar capacity factors and decommissioning, among other things, in my time covering these solar facility permits. We try to answer some of them for you here.

The Adirondack Park Agency lost two separate court decisions —one involving a marina permit on Lower Saranac Lake and another involving an herbicide permit on Lake George. The Court of Appeals case involving a private marina was the first to come out, and in an unanimous opinion judges criticized how the APA has been applying its wetlands regulations. We learned Judge Robert Muller, of the state Supreme Court in Warren County, issued a decision on a Lake George herbicide permit suit that scolded APA for being “one-sided” in its application review and said the agency should have held an adjudicatory hearing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Budget requests for the park

From left, Justin Driscoll, acting president and CEO of the New York Power Authority; Doreen Harris, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; and Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, testify before lawmakers during a joint budget hearing on Feb. 14 in the New York State Capitol in Albany.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $237 billion state budget did not include carve-outs for visitor safety and management for the Adirondack and Catskills parks in the $400 million environmental protection fund. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has said the money is still available for those items, but Commissioner Basil Seggos noted in his testimony last week that there are differences in opinion over whether an earmark is needed.

Several Adirondack Park organizations called for the line item to be restored. Some, including the Adirondack Mountain Club, also called for it to be boosted from last year’s $8 million to $10 million.

You can read more about Tuesday’s environmental conservation budget hearing here.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Discussion time: Solar

Site of a proposed solar installation on Veterans Road in Ticonderoga. Photo by Tim Rowland

We ran a story in the Sept/Oct issue of Adirondack Explorer’s magazine (click here to subscribe) that digs into a solar boom in Ticonderoga.

Reporter Tim Rowland writes: “Fueled by New York’s mission to ensure that 70% of its electricity be derived from renewables by 2030 and the corresponding incentives to help that happen, lands with potential for solar became the hottest ticket in Ti.”

» Continue Reading.


Monday, October 10, 2022

Agriculture and solar

shaw pond

The leaves are changing color quickly in the Adirondacks and were quite beautiful on Friday when the Explorer team met in Long Lake for a birding walk. Larry Master, one of our board members and a talented wildlife photographer, helped us spot wood ducks, great blue herons, song sparrows and belted kingfishers on our trip to Shaw Pond.

In case you missed it, last week state and local agricultural leaders attended a conference in Saratoga Springs. I stopped by and asked New York State Agricultural Commissioner Richard Ball and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack some questions including what their thoughts were about solar development on farmland. Read the story here.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

APA approved Clifton solar project, and a fall hike

hadley mountain fire tower

Last week the Adirondack Park Agency approved a 20-megawatt solar project on the former Benson Mines’s tailings pile in the Town of Clifton. It is the state’s first “build ready” solar project. There are still a handful of other permits the state needs to acquire before it can hold an auction and turn the project over to a solar developer. But, it looks like the Adirondacks is one step closer to hosting a large renewable energy project.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 19, 2022

The Adirondacks’ largest solar project to date

benson mine solar

In April of last year, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s first “build-ready” solar project to be hosted on the old tailings pile of Benson Mines in the Town of Clifton. Well, we’re seeing this 20-megawatt facility again, with plans for more than 62,000 panels, this time with confirmation that the Adirondack Park Agency must weigh in on its approval. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has applied for permits including for a large, public utility, and APA commissioners will decide whether to sign off at their board meeting on Thursday. (Editor’s note: The project was approved. See story here.)

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Close encounters of the loon kind (and some recent policy news)

loon

Loon and chick photograph by Sue Kiesel. Photo provided by the Old Forge Library.

I’m back from a short vacation traveling around upstate New York. One of our stops was Big Moose Lake in Eagle Bay. Dave and I went for a paddle and two loons shot up from underwater very close to our canoe. It was a moody weather day to boot, and when they dove underwater and popped up again, their howling calls made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. Here’s a snippet from our paddle after the loons swam further out. It was one of the top wildlife encounters of my life and particularly exciting for me since writing a second-grade report on the common loon (spelled “commen” in bright yellow letters on my poster board, but live and learn). In case you missed it, give Gary Lee’s piece about wrapping up loon-banding season a read.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Debatable: Solar projects

solar panels

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Adirondack Explorer’s March/April 2022 issue, in its ongoing “It’s Debatable” column. Click here to subscribe. The topic: Solar projects in the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Debating solar and cell tower aesthetics

cell tower

Barbara Rice attended her first Adirondack Park Agency meeting last week as its new executive director just a few days after starting the job. It was a packed five-hour meeting.

“The one thing that stands out to me is how dedicated and hard working the staff here is,” Rice said, at the start of the meeting.

We published a couple of stories out of that Thursday marathon, including how the Olympic Regional Development Authority plans to widen some ski trails at Whiteface Mountain.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Solar Grazing: A Ewe-nique Idea 

Harvesting the Sun 

    According to the United States Energy Information Administration, there are approximately 2,500 commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) energy gathering and generating stations currently serving the nation’s electric grid. Most produce one- to five-megawatts (MW) of power. A five-MW facility requires roughly 40 acres of land. Some analysts maintain that, depending on how quickly the nation moves from non-renewable to renewable electricity, an additional 10-million acres of land could be needed by 2050. That’s an area greater than the land-mass of Massachusetts and New Jersey, combined. Although commercial solar arrays are frequently built on low-quality, low-impact sites, such as landfills, brownfields, abandoned mining land, and former industrial locations, they’re often placed on agricultural land, as well.

    A couple of years ago, I wrote an article addressing solar development on agricultural land in the North Country. At the time, several large-scale PV energy generating projects were being considered in northern Franklin County, including a massive 150-MW power generating project on roughly 950-acres of land in the town and village of Malone, proposed by Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy. After the initial proposal encountered unwavering opposition from local residents, the application was scaled back to 50-MW, but resistance remained high and the project was eventually scrapped.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, September 24, 2021

Climate Week Updates


EV charging stationFor 2021 Climate Week, Sept. 20-26, DEC is highlighting two green initiatives in the Adirondack Region.

Solar Installation on Lake George Island
A new solar installation on Lake George Island now powers the caretaker cabin. The solar installation replaces an underwater power line that is used to provide electricity to the cabin. Not only is this green energy solution better for our climate, it is also more resilient.

Electric Car Chargers at DEC Campgrounds
Electric car chargers have been installed at Meadowbrook Campground in Ray Brook and Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian, and Day Use Area in North Hudson. Meadowbrook has one dual charging station with a solar-powered streetlight. Frontier Town has four single-car chargers. These stations are used by both visitors and campground staff. There are plans for more chargers to be installed at additional facilities in the region.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Myths About Solar Power And The Adirondacks

us solar pv instalationsSolarize Tri-Lakes is a group of volunteers raising awareness about the benefits of installing solar or photovoltaic electricity (PV).

With solar technology changing so rapidly, it can be difficult to tell the difference between truth and common misconceptions. Here is our attempt to debunk some of these myths. » Continue Reading.