The Empire Solar Project is a 125 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility with a 20 MW battery storage component proposed to be located in the Town of Westfield in Chautauqua County, New York (the “Project”). The Project will span approximately 1,500 acres and plans to connect to the 230 kV South Ripley to Dunkirk Line. The Project is anticipated to positively impact both the environment and the local economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 160,000 metric tons each year – the equivalent of taking an estimated 34,000 cars off the road – and producing significant tax revenue and other economic benefits for the area.
Empire Solar project overview
Planned storage capacity
C02 emission reduction*
160,000 metric tons
*Approximate annual carbon dioxide emissions reduced
Project information is approximate and subject to change
Join us for an Empire Solar virtual community meeting! Thursday, April 22nd from 5:30 – 6:30pm EST
We will be using the Zoom platform to conduct this virtual information session.
More information on how to use this platform is available at support.zoom.us
Empire Solar intends, to elect to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Office of Renewable Energy and Siting (ORES) under the new 94-c process.
Section 94-c created a newly-established Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”), within the New York State Department of State, to provide a single forum for the environmental review and permitting of proposed major renewable energy facilitates, which includes renewable energy systems with a nameplate generating capacity of 25,000 kilowatts or more, co-located energy storage systems, and electric transmission facilities less than 10 miles in length.
Additionally, while Article 10 applications that have received a completeness determination will be deemed complete under the new 94-c Process, the Act allows projects currently undergoing the Article 10 siting process to either remain in Article 10 or opt-in to 94-c. The proposed rules and regulations by the 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, projects are required to consult with the local agencies and stakeholders 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.
Outside of the 94-c public comment period and requirements, Empire Solar is committed to ongoing stakeholder and community engagement; including maintaining the “Public Involvement Plan (PIP)” log, even though it is not a 94-c requirement.
Any interested person may also file a written request with the Secretary to receive copies of all notices concerning the Project. Additional information can be found on the Siting Board’s website located at [www.dps.ny.gov/SitingBoard](http://www.dps.ny.gov/SitingBoard). Documents filed in this proceeding may also be viewed online at the [Public Service Commission’s (“PSC”) website](https://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/PSCWeb.nsf/All/FCFC9542CC5BE76085257FE300543D5E?OpenDocument) by clicking “Search” on the homepage and then entering Case Number 19-F-0781 in the field “Search by Case Number.” Interested parties may also subscribe to the service list or request party status by accessing this proceeding through the PSC’s website.
You can find the proposed regulations at [https://ores.ny.gov/regulations](https://ores.ny.gov/regulations). Any party wishing to remain a party under the 94-c process is encouraged to review the draft 94-c regulations ([https://ores.ny.gov/regulations](https://ores.ny.gov/regulations)) and to contact the ORES office at: [firstname.lastname@example.org.](mailto:email@example.com)
How to become an intervenor in the 94-c process
Upon the filing of a 94-c Application, Empire Solar will post an intervenor fund ($1,000/MW) which 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 thirty (30) days of the date of application filing. Such requests can be made 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
If you have questions regarding the intervenor process please contact the ORES office.
PIP Plan materials
Watch the info session
Empire Solar DPS Page
New York Office Hours - Have a question or comment for AES about their work in your community? Give us a call during these hours to talk to a company representative.
- Every Monday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST
- Every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
- Call our New York office at 866-757-7697 (866-SLRPOWR)
For any inquiries or comments about Empire Solar please contact us directly at:
Project Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Phone Number: 866-757-7697 (866-SLRPOWR)
195 Montague Street
14th Floor, Suite 1461
Brooklyn, NY 11201