New York officials explore large scale renewable energy at two municipally owned sites

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Two municipally owned sites in New York are primed for potential renewable energy development. Through its Build-Ready Program, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has signed memorandums of understanding with Dannemora in the North Country and Brookhaven on Long Island to explore the feasibility of developing renewable energy projects on otherwise underutilized lands.

“Our Build-Ready program is part of New York’s comprehensive approach to accelerating the development of large-scale renewable energy projects and is helping bring forward projects that stimulate local and regional economic growth while achieving the state’s clean energy goals,” stated Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

Entering into these MOUs will allow NYSERDA to conduct further due diligence and community engagement to evaluate the prospects of two large-scale renewable energy projects. If there is local acceptance, strong project feasibility, and agreement to move forward between NYSERDA and the municipalities, NYSERDA will initiate development activities including detailed engineering, interconnection, and permitting.

The first MOU was executed by NYSERDA with the Town of Dannemora in Clinton County in relation to the Lyon Mountain iron ore mine which was nominated by the Town of Dannemora and the Adirondack North Country Association. The former iron ore mine (282-acre site) has been dormant since the late 1960s.

The rural town of Dannemora has become a leader in clean energy. By converting its building and street lights to LED, adopting the NYS unified solar permit, and benchmarking its buildings, Dannemora was designated a Clean Energy Community in 2021.

“This potential Build-Ready renewable energy project at the former Lyon Mountain mine site is an innovative approach to repurposing the town’s under-utilized assets and generating needed revenue for this community,” stated Nancy Bernstein, Energy Circuit Rider, Adirondack North Country Association.

The second MOU was executed by NYSERDA with the Town of Brookhaven on Long Island following the passage of a local resolution by the Town Board on June 30, and will be the first step to investigate and complete the necessary due diligence and community engagement. Located within the Town of Brookhaven’s Solid Waste Management Complex, the municipally owned site spans 400 acres and is under consideration for potentially hosting a large-scale solar project.

The Build-Ready Program is currently advancing a pipeline of sites across New York State, having screened over 5,000 locations and progressing dozens of sites through more advanced assessment and development.

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