Renewable Properties has a 70-MW New York community solar portfolio in the works

Borrego community solar project
Photo courtesy of Borrego

Renewable Properties is a developer and investor focused on small-scale utility and community solar projects and it is establishing itself as a New York community solar leader with a portfolio of 70 MW in various stages of development, construction, and operation.

Two of the company’s first community solar projects came online in June and July of this year. They include the 5.7 MW Bullis Road Solar project in the Town of Marilla, New York. Its 11,394 modules will generate enough energy to power 1,141 homes per year and offset the equivalent of 6,465 tons of CO2 annually.

The second recently completed project is the 4.9 MW Rock Island Road Solar project in the Town of Gouverneur, which consists of 9,932 modules that will generate enough energy to power 1,048 New York homes per year and offset 5,388 tons of CO2 annually.

Two additional community solar projects, Slayton Settlement Solar A & B, in the Town of Lockport, will commence construction by the end of Q3 2022. The total 9.1 MW Slayton portfolio will generate enough energy to power another 1,878 homes per year and offset the equivalent of 10,642 tons of CO2 annually.

“We are proud to serve New Yorkers with a growing pipeline of community solar projects that allow anyone anywhere to benefit from local clean energy,” said Aaron Halimi, Renewable Properties founder and president. “These solar projects will also benefit the landowners where they are sited via lease payments, as well as the surrounding communities with taxes, jobs, and other economic benefits.”

Project partners

Renewable Properties, which owns the projects, partnered with Borrego, an industry- leading EPC, to build the Rock Island project, and with United Renewable Energy (URE), a premier EPC, on the Bullis Road and Slayton Settlement projects.

“Rock Island Road is another example of how companies like Renewable Properties are making solar accessible to more New Yorkers,” said Brian Barker executive vice president of EPC for Borrego. “We’re grateful to work on such an innovative project that pairs both economic and environmental benefits for the community. The outcome and momentum of this project is moving the state closer to its clean energy goals, and we will continue to work to see them through.”

“Our work with Renewable Properties builds on our deep experience constructing solar projects in New York,” said Keith Herbs, Executive Vice President of URE. “We look forward to continuing this partnership as we work toward starting construction on the Slayton portfolio.”

Community focus

Renewable Properties is working closely with the communities where their projects are located. One example is the Slayton Settlement portfolio, where the community was concerned that siting the projects on a third-generation organic dairy farm would result in a loss of agricultural production.

To alleviate these concerns, Renewable Properties has committed to building the site as an agrivoltaics project that will employ the area’s sheep farmers for ground cover vegetation management. Renewable Properties is also designating part of the solar site for bee boxes. These added measures will support the region’s cultivation of honey, wool, lamb meat, and other related products, enhancing the agricultural production value of the property.

In addition, the project will allow the landowner to keep the farm in his family. When completed in mid-2023, the two Slayton Settlement arrays will also improve the reliability of grid infrastructure, provide renewable energy to community subscribers, and advance New York State’s aggressive renewable energy goals.

Another example of Renewable Properties’ community responsiveness is the Bullis Road project, which is designed to avoid known archaeological resources, as well as a habitat of the threatened pied-billed grebes.

Both the Bullis Rd and the Slayton Settlement sites will be seeded with a pollinator grass mix that supports flowers for honeybees, birds, and other wildlife. This mix will enhance the habitat for the residing honeybees at the Slayton Settlement project site as well as help to improve the nutritional grazing value for the sheep.

What’s next?

Another 9.3 MW of community solar projects in Batavia and the Village of Minoa are scheduled to receive their notice to proceed by the end of Q4 2022. Renewable Properties has another 40 MW in earlier stages of development in the Marilla, Vestal, Oswego, Valatie, and East Syracuse, New York areas.

Having raised over $80 million of corporate capital and closed on over $250 million of project financings, the company is also actively acquiring additional community solar projects in New York and other regions.

As a further milestone of Renewable Properties’ commitment to New York community solar, the company recently signed a 30 MW subscriber management agreement with Ampion, a customer management provider, which will fill and manage subscribers for its New York projects in the towns of Lockport, Vestal, Stockport, Batavia, and the Village of Minoa.

“This 30MW portfolio will contribute meaningfully to New York’s goal to source 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” said Nate Owen, CEO of Ampion. “Ampion appreciates the opportunity to give more people access to renewables and electric bill savings, especially in the face of rising costs and energy pricing uncertainty.”

With its expanding pipeline of 16 community solar projects totaling 70 MW, Renewable Properties is bolstering New York State’s recently acquired position as the top community solar state in the US.

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