On February 25, 2021, New Bremen 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).
Section 94-c (enacted in April 2020) established the 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 25,000 kilowatts 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 have received a completeness determination will be 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, projects 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 New Bremen Virtual Community Meeting will be held on May 6, 2021.
Outside of the 94-c public comment period and requirements, New Bremen 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.
Documents filed in the Project proceedings may be viewed online at the PSC’s website by clicking “Search” on the homepage and then entering Case Number 20-F-0051 in the field “Search by Case Number”, or by directly visiting the New Bremen Solar DMM. Interested parties may subscribe to the service list or request party status for the New Bremen Solar Project by accessing the Project proceedings via either of the links included above.