White Creek Solar is a proposed 135 MW-AC solar project located in the Towns of York and Leicester in Livingston County, NY. The project will safely generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power over 29,700 households and offset 190,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.
The White Creek Solar project was previously developed by solar developer Community Energy. In December 2021, AES acquired Community Energy, and along with it, White Creek Solar. To learn more about the acquisition, click here.
Solar equipment is a proven and safe technology in applications from fields to rooftops of homes, schools, and businesses. The White Creek Solar 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 lease revenue to local landowners and tax revenue to the community.
Please click here to see the White Creek project layout in more detail.
Environmental studies have been conducted to help design and position the solar project in a way that avoids and minimizes impacts to wetlands, wildlife, and cultural resources. Through thoughtful and sensitive design, the White Creek Solar project seeks to be a good neighbor and a contributing member of the business and farming community.
Responsibly sited solar facilities can provide a net benefit to the preservation of agricultural land. The facility is not a permanent structure and essentially provides a form of preservation for agricultural land by maintaining permeable land surface and improving soil quality over the project life by allowing the soil to effectively rest, and installing a high-quality ground cover seed mix. Setbacks, fencing, and landscape buffering enable solar projects to blend comfortably into the community.
When a solar project reaches the end of its project life, the developer is responsible for executing the approved Decommissioning Plan, including abiding by all local and state decommissioning requirements. This includes the removal, recycling, and disposal of all solar arrays, racking, equipment, and other structures associated with the project, as applicable. The land surface within the project area will be sensibly restored to pre-project conditions to allow a return to agricultural use or other uses consistent with the land-use policies at the time.
Long-term Tax Revenue: The White Creek Solar project will provide numerous economic and social benefits. The land hosting the solar project will no longer be taxed at the lower rate provided for agricultural land and will generate many times more in taxes compared to current land use. In addition, there will be roll-back taxes associated with the change in land use status. Tax revenues to the county and school district with no additional burden on municipal services. The project will pay millions of dollars of taxes over the life of the project. Unlike residential or commercial development, this tax revenue will not create any material burden on County infrastructure or expenses for schools, water, sewer, emergency services, etc.
Rural communities benefit from public road enhancements, and increased tax revenues to fund local infrastructure and public services, schools, and other community infrastructure. The construction and operations and maintenance create direct and indirect benefits of additional jobs and increased demand for local goods and services within the community.
Full-Time Operations and Maintenance Jobs: The White Creek Solar project is expected to create two full-time equivalent operations and maintenance jobs.
Construction Jobs Local Economic Stimulus During Construction: The White Creek Solar project will support up to 200 full-time jobs in construction during the 12-18 month construction period. Local construction employment is expected to primarily benefit those in the construction trades in Livingston County and the surrounding regional labor market, including equipment operators, truck drivers, laborers, landscapers, and electricians. The project construction period will also stimulate spending at local hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment, and tourism businesses.
94-c permitting process
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. A virtual community meeting was held for the White Creek Solar project on January 5, 2021, and a second community meeting is scheduled for November 30, 2022.
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 November 30, 2022, the 94c community meeting for the White Creek Solar project was held at the Genesee River Restaurant and Reception Center, located at 134 N Main St, Mount Morris, NY 14510. All interested stakeholders were welcome to attend and learn more about the project, including all updates that have occurred regarding the project since January 2021
On February 4, 2021, White Creek 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 White Creek Solar materials filed under the Article 10 process can be found here, as Article 10 DMM Matter Number 20-00100.
On January 5, 2021, a virtual information session (community meeting) was held to share information about the White Creek Solar project. The recording and presentation slides from this meeting are available below in the 'Project Resources' section.
Join the White Creek 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 White Creek 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, 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. *Once White Creek Solar is issued a 94-c case #, stakeholders will be able to subscribe to the service list (case number pending as of October 27, 2022)*
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, White Creek Solar will submit the required local agency account fee of $135,000. 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 (date of application filing and thus funding deadline TBD).
Additional details regarding requests for local agency account funding will be provided once the White Creek 94-c Application has been submitted to ORES.
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
If you have questions regarding the intervenor process, please contact the ORES office.
As the proposed White Creek Solar project advances, public documents will be posted to this website, the project Document Matter Master (DMM) on the DPS website (pending 94-c case # creation), and will be made available for viewing in print at the following locations, during regular operating hours:
Town of York Town Hall: 2668 Main Street, PO Box 187, York, NY 14592
Town of Leicester Town Hall: 132 Main Street, PO Box 197, Leicester, NY 14481
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 94-c permit applications currently under review and those which have been deemed complete, can be found at https://ores.ny.gov/permit-applications
To submit any questions or comments regarding the 94-c permitting process, reach out to ORES by phone, email, written letter, or via this contact form on the ORES website (https://ores.ny.gov/)
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
Community engagement events
All public meetings will be announced at least 14 days prior to the scheduled event and posted on the facility website.
- November 30, 2022: Community Meeting (5:30 PM-7:30 PM at Genesee River Restaurant and Reception Center)
- March 2022: Presentation to Town of York
- December 2021: Presentation to Town Board of Leicester
- January 2021: Virtual Information Session/Community Meeting
- March 2020: Leicester Town Hall Meeting
White Creek Project: Town + Community Meetings Q&A
November 30, 2022
White Creek Project Layout [Updated 11.18.22]
November 30, 2022
Community Meeting Informational Boards
November 30, 2022
Notice of Election and Transfer to 94-c
February 4, 2021
January 18, 2021
Public Information Session Recording
January 5, 2021
Public Information Session Presentation Slides
January 5, 2021
White Creek Solar Article 10 Application docket link (Matter # 20-00100)
Frequently asked questions (FAQS)
We will provide security fencing that will fully encompass the solar fields. Any wires outside of our security fence will be buried. As such, no part of our solar project will be accessible to the public. Within the fence line, all solar equipment will be grounded and touch safe, fully compliant with all applicable codes and accessible only to qualified personnel, with the exception of guided tours. Orientation will be offered to local first responders to educate them about the project, the equipment and access, and response procedures in case of unexpected events. Contact information for our monitoring and response center will be provided and posted on the project fence to ensure the public can easily reach project representatives.
When a solar project reaches the end of its project life, the project owner is responsible for executing the approved Decommissioning Plan, including abiding by all local and state decommissioning requirements. This includes the removal, recycling, and disposal of all solar arrays, racking, equipment, and other structures associated with the project, as applicable. The land surface within the project area will be sensibly restored to pre-project conditions to allow a return to agricultural use or other uses consistent with the land-use policies at the time.
The project will use no fuel and create zero emissions, reducing air pollution and offsetting hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. Energy generation and environmental equivalents from the project are estimated to include…
- Equivalent of powering over 29,700 average NY homes per year
- Equivalent of offsetting ~190,000 tons of CO2 per year
- Equivalent of carbon captured by ~250,000 acres of U.S. forests
- Equivalent of offsetting ~210 million pounds of coal burned per year
- Equivalent of offsetting consumption of ~441,000 barrels of oil
We want to hear from you! For any inquiries or comments about White Creek Solar, please contact us directly at:
Project email: email@example.com
Project phone number: 866-757-7697 (866-SLRPOWR)
292 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
New York office hours
Have a question or comment for AES about our work in your community? Give us a call during these hours to talk to a company representative. If you call outside of these hours, we will return your call as soon as possible.
- Every Monday 11:00 AM-1:00 PM ET
- Every Thursday 4:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
- Call our New York team at 866-757-7697 (866-SLRPOWR)