Construction of a 240 MW solar plant in the northern reaches of New York state was proposed by EDF Renewables. The proposed project would also entail the buildout of 20 MW/80 MWh of battery energy storage capacity.
The northern NY facility, close to Ottawa, Canada, is expected to generate $24 million in direct payments for the Town of Canton, and St. Lawrence County’s local school district and will be proposed through a combination of Payment in Lieu of Taxes and property tax payments, said EDF Renewables.
At peak, EDF said the construction will provide approximately 300 jobs, and will last two years, starting late 2023 and reaching commercial operation late 2025. The project is subject to approval, and currently is in an exploration stage, with aerial photographs scheduled this fall, and civil engineering planned for this upcoming winter.
Named Rich Road Solar, the project is expected to generate enough photovoltaic energy to power more than 75,000 New York households.
Before the project is built, 78 miles of transmission lines called the Moses-Adirondack line, constructed by the federal government in 1942, will need to be rebuilt. This phase is slated to be completed in 2023.
The project joins EDF’s larger pipeline of large scale solar and wind projects in New York, including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority-approved 119 MW Tracy solar project, just south of Rich Road’s site, and western New York’s 94 MW Moraine project.
EDF said the construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of the plant will create opportunities for local business in the hospitality, material supply, and construction services sectors. Three or four full-time high-skill jobs will remain during the 35+ year operating life of the project.
Coupling the project with batteries follows a trend across the country of PV facilities being built with storage capabilities. While the NY-ISO has the lowest penetration of hybrid solar/storage projects proposed for interconnection (5%, California ISO is 89%), data suggest that deployment of this type of facility will continue to grow.
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