About The Project
In the first 20 years of project operation, Horseshoe Solar is projected to pay millions of dollars in property taxes, lease payments to landowners, salaries to employees, and payments for local goods and services, resulting in a significant increase in economic activity in Livingston County. Benefits to schools, town, and county governments will be realized from annual payments made under a payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) agreement.
New York has set ambitious targets to generate up to 70% of its electricity from renewable sources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. New York is starting with a significant base of renewable energy generation. Using sources such as hydropower, solar, and wind, New York percentage of renewable energy generation was 20% in 2010 and 22% in 2013. To reach 70%, New York plans to encourage installation of more wind, solar, and renewable generation and improved efficiency to reduce electricity consumption.
As of March 2018, over 1200 MW of solar energy was operating in New York, generating enough electricity to power over 200,000 New York households. This generation offsets the need to import or burn other fuels, helping to reduce fuel prices and air emissions.
Solar energy and other renewable energy projects generate substantial economic benefits for New York. According to NYSEIA, there are more than 9,000 solar jobs in NY, and solar energy projects have invested over $3.5 billion dollars in New York businesses, landowners, and municipalities.
Section 94-c was enacted in April of 2020 under the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES), a division of the NYS Department of State, in order to streamline and expedite the permitting process. The 94-c process is meant to replace the previous Article 10 process for solar facilities with capacities greater than 25 MW. The complete regulations can be found on the ORES website.
Since the passing of 94-c, projects previously filed under Article 10 had the opportunity to transfer their application to the 94-c process. Horseshoe Solar Energy LLC initiated the transfer from Article 10 to 94-c in October 2021.
After submittal of the 94-c application, there is a 30-day window in which individuals may request funding from the Local Agency Account. Within 60 days of the application submittal, the completeness of the application will be determined, and within the 60 days following that a draft permit will be issued. Once the draft permit is issued, there is a 60-day comment period in which the host community will issue a statement of compliance. Depending on the outcome of the comment period, the adjudicatory process may commence. Within one year of the application is determined to be complete, the final permit decision will be issued.
Local Agency Fund
Under 94-c, local agencies and community intervenors may apply for funds for each project to mitigate expenses for review of the proposed projects environmental, public health, and safety impacts. Within thirty (30) days after the deadline for requests for funds from the local agency account, the judge assigned to the case shall award local agency funds, to local agencies and potential community intervenors whose requests comply with the provisions of subdivision (h) of this section, so long as use of the funds will contribute to a complete record leading to an informed permit decision as to the appropriateness of the site and the facility, and for local agencies, shall include the use of funds to determine whether a proposed facility is designed to be sited, constructed and operated in compliance with applicable local laws and regulations. Local agencies and community intervenors must submit their request for funding within 30 days of the project’s application to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting.
Benefits for Host Communities
Horseshoe Solar is an unparalleled development opportunity for the host towns, with millions to be invested in the local economy over the life of the project. After careful evaluation, we selected this area for the project because of:
We take our commitment to our local host community seriously and look forward to continuing to work closely with Caledonia and Rush, the host towns in Livingston and Monroe Counties, contributing to the area's economic development, and to providing an additional supply of clean, homegrown energy in New York. We disclose any potential conflicts of interest between landowners and municipal officers for transparency.
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Solar farms have a light impact on farmland. Topsoil is left in place during construction and protected from erosion for the life of the project. When the project is decommissioned, the farmland will be returned to production after a rejuvenating rest for the soil, much like the Conservation Reserve Program of the USDA, which has been storing carbon in resting farmland across the US for decades.
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New York State requires the creation of a Decommissioning Plan and accompanying fund for use in the unlikely event that a solar project must be taken down before the end of its useful life. The establishment of a decommissioning fund ensures that the cost of decommissioning the project would never be borne by the landowners or town.
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To avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife and other natural resources, we work with state and federal agencies and other interested stakeholders to site, build, and operate our facilities responsibly. This includes robust pre-construction wildlife and habitat surveys, early and often communication with wildlife agencies, and operational monitoring to ensure risk to wildlife is minimized. We are investigating grazing sheep as a grounds maintenance method to preserve the agricultural land use.