Renewable Energy Companies Continue Push in Western New York, State’s Executive Law Aids with Continued Campaign

Over the summer, multiple solar energy proposals have pressed on in Eastern Niagara and Western Orleans Counties, despite a global pandemic limiting the public’s ability to oversee, and even personally present reasons for saying no to industrial energy in their area.

Much of this activity within the Empire State may be emboldened through the enactment of Executive Law Article 94-C.  Young & Summer, an Albany Law Firm specializing in this type of law, described 94-C in an article upon its passage, as to “establish an expedited 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).”

Additionally, as stated by New York State Penal Law within Section (f) of Article 94-c, the final say is with the state: “Notwithstanding any other deadline made applicable by this section, the office shall make a final decision on a siting permit for any major renewable energy project within one year from the date the application was deemed complete.”

The “office” is the defined terminology for ‘The Office of Renewable Energy’, as stated within the beginning of New York State’s description of Article 94-C.

Many in Western New York, and around the state, have questioned Article 94-C as an attempt to circumvent New York State’s Home Rule and Constitution, and add the teeth necessary for Article 10 to fully work as the Governor had originally planned in 2011.  Article 10 is another piece of established law meant to bolster large renewable energy projects throughout New York State.

Currently, in Eastern Niagara and Western Orleans Counties, there are multiple company proposals going through the motions of waiting until decision-makers in Albany can render their decision. 

Here are a few:

Cambria – Bear Ridge Solar Project proposed by Cyprus Creek Renewables in North Carolina (Approx. 900 acres)

Royalton – 173-acre project (location unknown/will add when confirmed)

Hartland – Ridge View Solar Project proposed by EDF Renewables in California

Ridgeway – Swett Road Energy Project proposed by DG New York CS, LLC in Florida (uncertain on acreage) 

Their next meetings:

Cambria: 09/10 7:00 p.m. @ 4160 Upper Mountain Road, Sanborn, N.Y.

Hartland: 09/10 7:00 p.m. @ 8942 Ridge Road, Gasport, N.Y.

Royalton: 09/14 7:00 p.m. @ 5316 Royalton Center Road, Royalton, N.Y.

Ridgeway: 09/02 (a planning board on the issue) 7:00 p.m. @ Call-in Only