About The Project
Invenergy began development of Bull Run Solar in 2017 and is working with local and state agencies to obtain necessary permits and execute agreements. Currently, the project anticipates starting construction in 2025 and reaching commercial operation by the end of 2027.
Currently, the development team is completing the comprehensive 94c application for submission to the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES). The application will include studies and surveys of natural and cultural resources and will include modeling of potential impacts. In parallel with this state permitting effort, we are continuing to engage with local stakeholders and agencies to keep the host communities informed of Bull Run Solar’s development progress as we refine the facility layout and overall project design. More information about ORES and the 94c regulations can be found here.
In the first 20 years of project operation, Bull Run Solar is projected to pay millions of dollars in property taxes, lease payments to landowners, salaries to employees, and payments for local goods and services, resulting in a significant increase in economic activity in the Clinton County area. Benefits to schools and town and county governments will be realized from annual payments made under payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) and host community agreement payments.
New York has set ambitious targets to generate up to 50% of its electricity from renewable sources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. New York is starting with a significant base of renewable energy generation. Using sources such as hydropower, solar, and wind, New York percentage of renewable energy generation was 20% in 2010 and 22% in 2013. To reach 50%, New York plans to encourage installation of more wind, solar, renewable generation and improved energy efficiency to reduce electricity consumption.
As of March 2018, over 1200 MW of solar energy was operating in New York, generating enough electricity to power over 200,000 New York households. This generation offsets the need to import or burn other fuels, helping to reduce fuel prices and air emissions.
Solar energy and other renewable energy projects generate substantial economic benefits for New York. According to NYSEIA, there are more than 9,000 solar jobs in NY, and solar energy projects have invested over $3.5 billion dollars in New York businesses, landowners, and municipalities.
Section 94-c was enacted in April of 2020 under the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES), a division of the NYS Department of State, in order to streamline and expedite the permitting process. The 94-c process is meant to replace the previous Article 10 process for solar facilities with capacities greater than 25 MW. The complete regulations can be found on the ORES website.
After submittal of the 94-c application, there is a 30-day window in which individuals may request funding from the Local Agency Account. Within 60 days of the application submittal, the completeness of the application will be determined, and within the 60 days following that a draft permit will be issued. Once the draft permit is issued, there is a 60-day comment period in which the host community will issue a statement of compliance. Depending on the outcome of the comment period, the adjudicatory process may commence. Within one year of the application is determined to be complete, the final permit decision will be issued.
Local Agency Fund
Under 94-c, local agencies and community intervenors may apply for funds for each project to mitigate expenses for review of the proposed projects environmental, public health, and safety impacts. Within thirty (30) days after the deadline for requests for funds from the local agency account, the judge assigned to the case shall award local agency funds, to local agencies and potential community intervenors whose requests comply with the provisions of subdivision (h) of this section, so long as use of the funds will contribute to a complete record leading to an informed permit decision as to the appropriateness of the site and the facility, and for local agencies, shall include the use of funds to determine whether a proposed facility is designed to be sited, constructed and operated in compliance with applicable local laws and regulations. Local agencies and community intervenors must submit their request for funding within 30 days of the project’s application to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting.
Benefits for Host Communities
Bull Run Solar is an unparalleled development opportunity for the host towns, with millions to be invested in the local economy over the life of the project. After careful evaluation, we selected this area for the project because of:
We take our commitment to our local host community seriously and look forward to continuing to work closely with the host town and Clinton County, contributing to the area's economic development, and providing an additional supply of clean, homegrown energy in New York. We disclose any potential conflicts of interest between landowners and municipal officers for transparency.
To avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife and other natural resources, we work with state and federal agencies and other interested stakeholders to site, build, and operate our facilities responsibly. This includes robust pre-construction wildlife and habitat surveys, early and often communication with wildlife agencies, and operational monitoring to ensure risk to wildlife is minimized. We are investigating grazing sheep as a grounds maintenance method to preserve the agricultural land use.
Local roads and infrastructure will be left in the same or better condition than they were prior to their use for the construction or on-going maintenance and repair of the solar project. Invenergy will enter into road agreements with the host town and county to put this commitment in writing.
Solar farms have a light impact on farmland. Topsoil is left in place during construction and the for the life of the project. When the project is decommissioned, the farmland will be returned to production after a long rest for the soil, much like the Conservation Reserve Program of the USDA, which has been resting farmland across the US for decades.