The Riverhead Solar 2 Project is a 36 megawatt (MWac) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility proposed to be located in the town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York. The project is anticipated to positively impact both the environment and the local economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 73,000 metric tons each year – powering an estimated 8,500 homes each year – and producing significant tax revenue and other economic benefits for the area.
Riverhead Solar 2 project overview
Tax Revenue Generated
229 - 348
Project information is approximate and subject to change
Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (“Riverhead Solar 2” or the “Applicant”), a subsidiary of AES, is seeking authority from the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) to construct a 36 megawatt (“MW”) alternating current (“AC”) solar photovoltaic electric generating facility (the “Project”) in the Town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York, pursuant to Section 94-c of the New York State Executive Law.
UPDATE: On January 11, 2021, Riverhead Solar 2 filed its Transfer Application with the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) to transfer to the 94-c permitting process. A new matter number and case docket has been created on DMM. The Transfer Application materials can now be found at http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=21-00024&CaseSearch=Search. The new matter number is 21-00024.
The final 94-c regulations were issued on March 3, 2021, and can be viewed here. If you have any questions regarding the 94-c permitting process, please contact the ORES office at: email@example.com
Public Involvement Plan (PIP)
On October 20, 2017, Riverhead Solar 2, LLC, a subsidiary of sPower (now part of AES) filed a Public Involvement Program Plan (“PIP”) with the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (the “Siting Board”). The PIP, filed pursuant to Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law and associated regulations (16 NYCRR Part 1000), is the first step in the process to obtain the requisite approvals from the Siting Board to construct the Project.
The purpose of the PIP is to introduce the project to the local community and other interested parties, explain the public outreach and involvement efforts that Riverhead Solar 2 will pursue throughout the development of the project, and explain how these efforts comply with and satisfy New York State’s legal and regulatory requirements. The development efforts and the proposed PIP for Riverhead Solar 2 focus first and foremost on early and frequent communication with host communities, including the Town of Riverhead, the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County.
A draft PIP was filed with the DPS on October 20, 2017, initiating a 30-day DPS review and comment period. The DPS provided comments to the PIP on November 20, 2017. Riverhead Solar 2 filed the final PIP on December 20, 2017.
In the PIP, Riverhead Solar 2 committed to, among other outreach activities, holding open-house style meetings to educate interested parties, receive public comment and answer questions about the project. The project is committed to the PIP requirements even in the 94-c process. The first two of these meetings were held on March 14, 2018 from 1 pm to 3 pm, and from 5 pm to 7 pm, at the Residence Inn Long Island East End, 2012 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY 11901.
Article 10 Application and Transition to section 94-c
On June 29, 2020, Riverhead Solar 2, LLC (“Riverhead Solar 2” or “Applicant”) submitted an Article 10 Application under Article 10 of the Public Service Law to construct and operate an approximately 36-megawatt (MW) solar project located in the Town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York (“the Facility” or “the Project”). On September 17, 2020, the Applicant submitted an Application Supplement that included a response to deficiencies in the Article 10 Application identified as the identified by the Siting Board. On October 16, 2020 the Siting Board determined that the Article 10 Application together with the supplemental filing made on September 17, 2020 complied with Public Service Law Section 164.
On November 25, 2020, the Applicant filed a letter with the Secretary to the Public Service Commission 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”). Riverhead Solar 2 filed its Transfer Application on January 11, 2021.
With the filing of the Transfer Application, Riverhead Solar 2 submitted a fee ($1,000 for each MW) to ORES which was deposited into a local agency account for local agencies and potential community intervenors to use to participate in public comment periods or hearings. Within 30 days of the date of the Transfer Application filing with ORES, any local agency or potential community intervenor can request funding from the local agency account by making such request to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting, Attention: Request for Local Agency Account Funding, Empire State Plaza, 240 State Street, P-1 South, J Dock, Albany, NY 12242
Once the Transfer Application and supporting materials are submitted to ORES the Transfer Application will be deemed complete and ORES will be required to make a final decision on the application within one year, in accordance with 94-c. No later than sixty (60) days following the filing of the Transfer Application ORES will issue a combined notice of availability of draft permit conditions and will provide additional details regarding the public comment period and public comment hearing, and issues determination process.
Documents filed in this proceeding may also be viewed online at the Public Service Commission’s (“PSC”) website located at www.dps.ny.gov by clicking “Search” on the homepage and then entering Case Number 17-F-0655 in the field “Search by Case Number.”
Riverhead Solar 2 Notice of Transfer
Riverhead Solar 2 will be sited on approximately  acres of non-contiguous parcels. Land agreements with private landowners will provide a consistent revenue stream for local farmers and residents for the life of the project, in excess of typical farm income. The project will use the same type of photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on solar projects in the United States. Solar equipment is a proven and safe technology in applications from fields to rooftops of homes, schools and businesses.
The project will provide a significant economic stimulus to the area during construction by providing jobs and local contracts for goods and services, and significant long-term economic benefits through community benefit payments, property tax revenue to the community, and lease revenue to local landowners. Additionally, the project will benefit the state of New York through its payment of corporate income tax on income from the project.
Responsibly-sited solar facilities can provide a net benefit to the preservation of agricultural land. The facility is not a permanent structure and funding is provided by the Applicant to decommission the project at the end of its useful life. The project essentially provides a form of preservation for agricultural land by maintaining permeable land surface and improving soil quality over the project life. After decommissioning, the project leaves no trace – so land can be returned to agricultural use. Setbacks, fencing and landscape buffering enable solar projects to blend comfortably into the community.
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Riverhead Solar 2 DPS Page
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195 Montague Street
14th Floor, Suite 1461
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Local document repositories
Riverhead Free Library
330 Court Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
Riverhead Solar 2, LLC
c/o Young & Somner, LLC
Executive Woods, Five Palisades Drive
Albany, NY 12205