The global push for renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has been celebrated as a significant step toward a cleaner, greener future. While these technologies are hailed for their potential environmental benefits, there’s a dark side to their production that often remains hidden from view. From the cobalt mines of Africa to the rainforests where balsa trees are felled, the environmental and human costs associated with renewable technologies are a stark reminder that not all that glitters is green. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘solar power’
22 large-scale projects will power more than 620,000 New York homes
Governor Kathy Hochul announced awards for 22 large-scale solar and energy storage projects that will deliver enough clean, affordable energy to power over 620,000 New York homes for at least 20 years. As the state’s largest land-based renewable energy procurement to date, these projects will spur over $2.7 billion in private investment and create over 3,000 short- and long-term jobs across the state. The awards accelerate progress to exceed New York’s goal to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 on the path to a zero-emission grid by 2040 as required by Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. These awards will strengthen the state’s current pipeline of renewables to power over 66 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources.
The 22 large-scale renewable energy projects by region are:
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.
Navigating Solar Lease Agreements and the Solar Development Process: A Program for NY Farmers and Rural Landowners
Solar projects on farmland are popping up all over New York, including in Essex County.
Join a state-wide virtual meeting for farmers and rural landowners to get answers to your solar leasing questions. This program will feature several live webinars presented by industry experts to help you navigate the solar development process, make informed decisions, and negotiate solar lease agreements.
Saranac Lake Community Solar has partnered up with AdkAction to complete a local community solar project which will create 10 acres of pollinator habitat.
These 10 acres will provide a local source of clean energy for the village of Saranac Lake, as well as its surrounding communities. The solar farm will provide homeowners, renters, and businesses solar energy without the cost of equipment, installation and maintenance, and thanks to the support of AdkAction’s pollinator project, this will be the first pollinator-friendly solar farm in the Adirondacks.
Perhaps the most significant energy question in the North Country in the coming year will be the potential long-term advantages and/or disadvantages of advancing industrial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project development in the region.
Solar power represents a significant opportunity for economic development and job creation in North Country communities. And PV energy production is playing an increasingly important role in how states meet their (renewable) energy needs. » Continue Reading.
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