MOHAWK — It was a high-energy moment for project stakeholders on a panoramic hillside off Stoner Trail Road.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President Doreen Harris announced in Mohawk on Monday a fresh batch of clean energy projects reaching completion, including two 20-megawatt solar arrays in the rural Montgomery County town.
Mohawk-based Grissom Solar and Regan Solar, respectively, became operational on March 17 and Dec. 29. Both projects were financed by M&T Community & Environmental Development and developed by CS Energy within two years.
@dgazetteNYSERDA: 2 large-scale solar projects completed in Montgomery County – 4/18/23 – More at LeaderHerald.com
Eight out of 120 NYSERDA-contracted projects have been completed within the last six months, buoyed by nearly $800 million in private investments.
“That number will increase as the months go on, but a big milestone to celebrate consistent with our commitment to achieving our goals,” Harris said.
Both large- and small-scale renewable transmission projects have blossomed in recent years, driven by the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which underscores a bevy of goals to mitigate climate change. Notably, this includes efforts to produce 70% of all electricity from clean energy sources by 2030.
Concurrently, some Mohawk Valley communities have expressed frosty attitudes toward corporate solar developers eating up swaths of land and have adopted moratoriums in hopes of buying time to materialize new industry regulations.
Grissom and Regan solar projects, collectively more than 250 acres, faced community opposition while seeking out local approval in 2019. Residents worried that the proposed arrays would obstruct scenery, impact property values and hog arable land.
Ultimately greenlit, both projects broke ground in 2021.
About 150 jobs were created during the duration of the project. Typically, the bulk of labor is amassed during construction, according to Harris.
“I would say, in the longer term, the benefits that come to these communities are in the form of revenues paid through payments in lieu of taxes, most commonly, and other host community payments,” Harris said. “So they really go directly to the communities and bring benefits to the local members of those communities.”
NYSERDA’s recently announced a batch of solar, hydropower and wind power projects are expected to contribute $70 million in tax contributions in the long run, according to the public authority.
Combined, it’s expected to power more than 150,000 New York households across the state.
“These large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects supported the creation of hundreds of clean, green jobs and will deliver clean energy to hundreds of thousands of New York homes,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul in a statement. “This Earth Week, we are seeing how clean energy can transform communities and lead to a greener future for all New Yorkers.”
NYSERDA expects to announce another batch of transmission projects within the third fiscal quarter of this year.
Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected] Follow him on Facebook at Tyler A. McNeil, Daily Gazette or Twitter @TylerAMcNeil.