On October 25, 2022, Brookside Solar submitted additional materials related to Appendix 9-2 and Appendix 9-3 of the project's 94-c Application. On October 17, 2022, Brookside Solar received a Second Notice of Incomplete Application (NOIA) from ORES.
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The Brookside Solar project is a 100 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility proposed to be located on the border of the Towns of Burke and Chateaugay in Franklin County, New York. The project will span approximately 1,100 acres and plans to connect to the nearby Chateaugay-Willis 115kV transmission line. Brookside Solar is anticipated to positively impact both the environment and the local economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 131,000 metric tons each year – the equivalent of powering approximately 23,800 homes' electricity use per year. Additionally, the project will contribute to the local economy by producing significant tax revenue and other economic benefits for the area.
Brookside Solar project overview
C02 emissions reduction*
131,000 metric tons
*Approximate annual carbon dioxide emissions reduced
Project information is approximate and subject to change
The Brookside Solar Project will support New York State’s climate goals and will have minimal impact on neighboring landowners, nearby communities, and surrounding landscapes. The Facility has been designed to minimize impacts to the maximum extent practicable and unavoidable impacts will be outweighed by the economic and environmental benefits of the Facility.
Specifically, stakeholders within the region will receive economic benefits from the Facility through construction, operation, and maintenance jobs, as well as expenditures for supplies and materials, lease payments to participating landowners, and tax payments to local communities. In addition, the Facility will promote public health and welfare by offering a sustainable alternative to generating electricity by non-renewable methods to meet New York State’s energy requirements. The Facility will contribute to a reduction in the amount of fossil fuel consumed, and a corresponding reduction of global carbon emissions, which may result in a reduced rise in global ambient air temperature. This reduction in GHG emissions will contribute to improved environmental health overall. The Facility plays a crucial role for the community and the entire state of New York, as it will help meet New York State’s energy goal outlined in the 2015 SEP and 2020 Amendment to the 2015 plan: achieving 70% of electricity generated by renewable energy in New York by 2030. Lowering these emissions also improves air quality, which is beneficial to respiratory and public health.
The Applicant (Riverside Solar, LLC) has conducted the surveys required by the Section 94-c process and the previous Article 10 process to assess potential environmental and community impacts, as well as aesthetic and visual impacts to the area surrounding the Facility Site. The Facility will not produce emissions of air or water pollution, no odors, and minimal noise. and will have a low profile relative to other types of development. Additionally, the Applicant intends to minimize impacts to community character through strategically placing fencing, vegetative screening, landscape strategies, maximizing setbacks from residential uses, and avoiding sensitive resources. Impacts related to the construction and operation of the Facility are limited to:
- Temporary and minor permanent impacts to agricultural land (pasture and row crops), forested land, and successional shrubland. Areas that are temporarily impacted will be restored to their original condition following the completion of construction.
- Tree clearing has been limited to 46 acres of the 1,471-acre Facility Site. It is focused in the eastern and western areas for the siting of solar arrays, fencing, haul roads, and inverter pads. By focusing clearing efforts in these areas, fragmentation of forested habitat will be limited and impacts to forestland will not be widespread. In addition, the Applicant will leave existing hedgerows and vegetative barriers where possible.
- The Applicant will work with the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) regarding mitigation to State-jurisdictional wetlands for unavoidable impacts of 0.03 acres. A wetland mitigation and restoration plan will be developed in accordance with Section 900-2.15(g) of the 94-c regulations.
- There are no impacts to State-protected streams as part of the construction and operation of the Facility. All Facility components will be sited more than 50 feet from State-protected waterbodies.
- The Applicant has developed a net conservation benefit plan (NCBP) for the short-eared owl, northern harrier, and Henslow’s sparrow involving Applicant-implemented grassland bird habitat conservation.
- Traffic-related impacts associated with the Facility will be minor during the site preparation and construction phases when there may be a temporary increase in vehicle traffic on area roadways. Once operational, the workforce will not affect traffic around the Facility Site and will have no impacts on adjacent roadways.
- Noise and vibrational modeling has been conducted to confirm that impacts resulting from the construction and operation of the Facility will not exceed the design goals listed within the regulations of Section 94-c of the New York State Executive Law. Adverse noise impacts have been avoided or minimized through careful siting of Facility components.
- There is minimal expected visibility of the Facility within the two-mile visual study area. In accordance with USC §900-6.4 (l), the Applicant will implement the Visual Impacts Minimization and Mitigation Plan, including visual contrast minimization and mitigation measures, a lighting plan, solar glare mitigation requirements, and screen planting plans.
The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (the “Act”) was passed in April 2020 as part of the final state budget. The Act added a new section 94-c to the Executive Law, titled Major Renewable Energy Development ("Section 94-c”, "94-c", or "the 94-c permitting process"), which established a review process with uniform permit standards for New York State renewable energy projects in place of the procedures set forth in Article 10 of the Public Service Law (“Article 10").
Section 94-c established the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) within the NYS Department of State to provide a single forum for the environmental review and permitting of proposed major renewable energy facilities. This includes renewable energy systems with a nameplate generating capacity of 25 MW or more, co-located energy storage systems, and electric transmission facilities less than 10 miles in length. The final Section 94-c regulations were issued on March 3, 2021 and can be viewed here.
Article 10 applications that had already received a completeness determination are deemed complete under the new 94-c process, while projects currently undergoing the Article 10 siting process can choose to either remain in Article 10 or opt-in to 94-c. The 94-c regulations issued by ORES include an expedited permitting process to account for matters and issues already presented and resolved in the alternate Article 10 proceedings.
Prior to submitting a 94-c permit application, Applicants are required to consult with the local agencies and stakeholders of the community(ies) in which the proposed project will be located. ORES also requires that state agencies (e.g. NY DEC) are consulted on wetland and stream delineations, threatened and endangered species, and archeological and cultural resources, if appropriate. Agency consultations should take place at the earliest point possible in the Applicant’s process. Following consultations with impacted agencies, 94-c Applicants must hold at least one meeting for community members. The Brookside Solar Virtual Community Meeting was held on March 16, 2021.
Outside of the 94-c public comment period and requirements, Brookside Solar is committed to ongoing stakeholder and community engagement; including maintaining the “Public Involvement Program (PIP) Plan” log, even though it is not a 94-c requirement.
From the date of its receipt of a permit application, ORES has 60 days to make a completeness determination. After a completeness determination, draft permit conditions will be issued by ORES for public comment. Within the comment period, the host municipalities must submit a statement indicating whether the proposed renewable energy facility complies with applicable local laws. ORES must issue a final decision on the siting permit within one year of the date on which the application is deemed complete. See below for a full diagram of the 94-c process, from pre-application activities through the start of construction.
On August 16, 2022, Brookside Solar submitted its 94-c permit application Supplement in response to the Notice of Incomplete Application (NOIA) issued by ORES on April 19, 2022. The Supplement materials can be found on the DMM under DMM Matter Number 21-00917 and are available in the 'Project resources' section below.
On April 19, 2022, Brookside Solar received a Notice of Incomplete Application (NOIA) from ORES.On February 18, 2022, Brookside Solar, LLC filed its 94-c permit application with ORES. The Notice of Application Filing and Availability of Local Agency Account Funding reflects this project milestone. All permit application materials can be found on the New York State Department of Public Service’s Document Matter Manager (DMM) system, under DMM Matter Number 21-00917, and are also available below in the section titled 'Brookside Solar 94-c Application'.
On February 17, 2021, Brookside Solar filed a letter with the Secretary to the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) noticing its election to be subject to Executive Law Section 94-c and stating its intent to file a Transfer Application with the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES). The Brookside Solar materials filed under the Article 10 process can be found here, as Article 10 DMM Matter Number 20-00117.
Join the Brookside Solar master stakeholder list
Joining the Master Stakeholder List maintained by AES enables you to receive mailings of the 94-c required notices. You can join this list by filling out the 'Stay Updated' webform at the bottom of this page, by calling 866-757-7697, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to the service list
If you would like to monitor the proceedings of the Brookside Solar 94-c application, you can do so without the formal commitment of becoming a party in the proceeding. By subscribing to the service list of a case (Brookside Solar: Matter Number 21-00917), you will receive an e-mail with a direct link to the documents issued by the Public Service Commission PSC), such as orders, notices, and rulings. If you are unable or unwilling to receive electronic notification, you will receive hard copies of Commission-issued documents by regular mail.
If you are a registered user of the NYS Public Service Commission's Document and Matter Management (DMM) System, you may submit your service list subscription by clicking here. Registration saves time and allows you to see and manage all of your service and party list subscriptions.
If you do not wish to register on the PSC's DMM System, you can download the Request for Service List form here. Please follow the instructions on the form.
Request party status
Generally, parties commit to contribute to the development of a complete record in a proceeding by conducting discovery, submitting testimony, briefs, or other formal written comments, and/or participating in evidentiary hearings, procedural conferences and other formal events conducted in the case. (Non-parties participate in PSC proceedings by filing informal comments, such as letters, in contrast to the formal comments filed by parties in response to Commission notices.)
For some PSC proceedings, including rate cases, a person need not be a party to petition for rehearing of the Commission's final decision; however, in some other proceedings, only those who were parties in the case may petition for rehearing. The right to challenge a PSC decision in New York State Court may also be limited to those who were parties to the PSC proceeding.
Under Commission rules, 16 NYCRR 4.3, you must seek permission to intervene as a party from the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), if one is assigned to the case, or from the Secretary if there is no ALJ assigned. The standard for allowing intervention is whether your participation is likely to contribute to the development of a complete record or is otherwise fair and in the public interest; whether other parties are unfairly prejudiced is also considered.
If you are a registered user of the NYS Public Service Commission's Document and Matter Management (DMM) System, you may submit your request for party status by clicking here. Registration saves time and allows you to see and manage all of your service and party list subscriptions.
If you do not wish to register on the PSC's DMM System, you can download the Request for Party Status form here. Please follow the instructions on the form.
When you submit the request for party status here, you will be provisionally added to the party list, subject to the right of other parties to object and subject to the final determination of the ALJ or Secretary. You will be required to mail your request to anyone on the party list who cannot receive e-mail service.
Intervenor funding is money that Applicants make available to qualified, locally affected parties and municipalities to offset certain expenses they incur in participating in the state permitting process. These funds are meant to encourage early and effective public involvement in project development and permitting.
With the filing of its 94-c application on February 18, 2022, Brookside Solar, LLC submitted the required local agency account fee of $100,000. These funds can be sought by local community intervenors and host towns. 75% of funds are reserved for municipalities.
Any local agency or potential community intervenor seeking funding must submit a request for initial funding within 30 days of the date of application filing. The deadline for requesting local agency account funds for Brookside Solar is 4:30 p.m. EST on March 24, 2022.
Requests for local agency account funds can be made via:
The ORES Request For Local Agency Account Funding form available in the Resources section of the ORES website
Or by email to:
Or by mail to:
Attention: Request for Local Agency Account Funding
Office of Renewable Energy Siting
Empire State Plaza
240 State Street
P-1 South, J Dock
Albany, NY 12242
Further details regarding requests for local agency account funding can be found in the Notice of Application Filing and Availability of Local Agency Account Funding.
If you have questions regarding the intervenor process, please contact the ORES office.
In addition to being viewable on this project website (see 'Brookside Solar 94-c Application', below) and the project Document Matter Master on the DPS website, the Brookside Solar permit application is available for viewing in print at the following locations, during regular operating hours:
Town of Chateaugay Town Hall: 191 E Main St, Chateaugay, NY 12920
Chateaugay Memorial Library: 4 John St, Chateaugay, NY 12920
Town of Burke Town Hall: 842 Depot St, Burke, NY 12917
To learn more about the 94-c permitting process, please visit the Office of Renewable Energy Siting website at https://ores.ny.gov/.
The final 94-c regulations, effective as of March 3, 2021, are available at Chapter XVIII, Title 19 of NYCRR Part 900 (Subparts 900-1 – 900-15)
Resources related to the PSC Document Matter Master system, local agency account funds, and regulatory documents can be viewed on the ORES website at https://ores.ny.gov/resources
Information on the permit applications currently under review (including that of Brookside Solar) and those which have been deemed complete, can be found at https://ores.ny.gov/permit-applications
Mailing Information (letters and envelopes):
Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES)
c/o: OGS Mailroom
Empire State Plaza
240 State Street
P-1 South, J Dock
Albany, N.Y. 12242
Second notice of incomplete application (NOIA)
October 17, 2022
Notice of incomplete application (NOIA)
April 19, 2022
Notice of application filing and availability of local agency account funding
February 22, 2022
3-day notice of intent to file a 94-c application
February 11, 2022
60-day notice of intent to file a 94-c application
April 14, 2021
Link to 94-c application filings (via the DPS' DMM)
Matter Master Number 21-00917
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New York, NY 10017
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