Flint Mine Solar Project
The Flint Mine Solar project is a 100MW-AC solar photovoltaic (PV) facility being developed at the southern end of the Town of Coxsackie and the northern section of the Town of Athens, New York by affiliates of Hudson Energy Development and Amber Infrastructure.Facility Description
The proposed 100MW-AC Facility will provide approximately 175,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy produced from the sun, an amount roughly equivalent to the average annual electricity needs of the 21,000 homes in Greene County. The Facility will include photovoltaic (PV) modules, inverters to convert direct current electricity generated by the PV panels to alternating current electricity that can be delivered to the New York State electric grid, as well as electrical collection lines, access roads, temporary construction staging and storage areas, and possibly electrical storage devices. The Facility will connect to the electric grid via a switchyard to be constructed by Flint Mine in the Town of Coxsackie in accordance with National Grid’s specifications and other regulations and standards.Submission of Article 10 Application
On May 27, 2020 Flint Mine Solar LLC filed an application for a "Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need" under Article 10 of the NYS Public Service Commission regulations. This application can be found here, and also here, on the NYPSC's website.Proposed Facility Location Map
As is required under the NYPSC’s Article 10 power plant siting regulations, the sponsors of Flint Mine Solar prepared a Public Involvement Program (PIP) Plan in 2018. The Flint Mine Solar PIP Plan, which can be found here, introduces the project to the local community, stakeholders and other interested parties; describes the Article 10 process; outlines future activities related to sharing project information; and establishes how the public can participate in the stakeholder process by asking questions and providing comments.
Flint Mine Solar held its first Project Open House on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at Pegasus Restaurant in Coxsackie. Two sessions were held, and each included a presentation on the proposed Project, as well as a poster reception and opportunities for the public to meet a 15-member project development team, ask questions, and identify areas of interest to the community.
The sessions were well attended, with over 110 individuals in attendance, not including the Flint Mine Project Team. Participants were able to view posters with information on topics such as environmental impact assessments, project schedule, construction methods; to watch a video simulation showing potential visibility of the project from major thoroughfares in the community; to make written or oral comments at the session, or to receive instructions on filing comments on DMM in the future; and to provide their contact information for future outreach efforts.
Further information on the May 30th Open House, including copies of the poster boards, presentation, invitation list and preliminary project maps valid as of May 30th were filed with the Siting Board on June 22nd, 2018 and can be found at the above link.
Flint Mine Solar held its second Project Open House on Thursday November 8th, 2018, also at Pegasus Restaurant in Coxsackie. On this occasion three presentations were made on the proposed Project (at 12.30pm, 4pm and at 6.30pm); as with the first Open House, there was a poster reception and opportunities for the public to meet eleven members of the project development team, ask questions, and identify areas of interest to the community.
The first members of the public came at 11.45 am and there was constant activity until after 8pm. About 90 individuals were in attendance, not including the Flint Mine Project Team, with the vast majority being residents of Athens and Coxsackie. Participants were again able to view posters on environmental impact assessments, project schedule and construction methods; to make comments or ask questions at the conclusion of the three presentations; to receive instructions on filing comments on DMM in the future; to express interest in future employment or business opportunities or provide written comments, and to share their contact information for future outreach efforts.
Further materials from the November 8th Open House, including copies of the poster boards, presentation and preliminary project maps have been made available. These project maps mirrored those in the PSS (see below) and are valid as of November 8th, 2018 (due to the nature of the development and permitting process, these maps are subject to change until the Facility is constructed. The Second Open House Materials were filed with the Siting Board on November 16th, 2018 and can be found here.
As is further detailed in the PIP Plan, the sponsors of the Flint Mine Solar project have endeavored to find a relatively concealed project location, where the low-profile solar electric generating plant will be largely hidden from view from most nearby residential properties, as well as from US Highway 9W, Schoharie Turnpike and the other major thoroughfares in the project area. The sponsors will implement a mitigation plan to minimize impacts on local archaeological resources and wildlife habitats that may exist on some of the former farm fields that are proposed to host this solar photovoltaic project.Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS)
In November of 2018 Flint Mine filed a Preliminary Scoping Statement (“PSS”) to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the scope and methodology of studies to be conducted in support of a future Article 10 Application. This filing of the PSS kicked off the Article 10 scoping phase, beginning with a 21-day public comment period on the scope and methodology of the studies proposed.
The PSS document, among other things, described and identified the environmental setting in the area where the Facility is proposed, the potential environmental and community impacts from construction and operation of the Facility, and anticipated benefits of the Facility on the environment and local community, as well as on the State’s achievement of its renewable energy generation goals.
The PSS also identified and described the environmental studies Flint Mine Solar has conducted during the Article 10 process to assess potential impacts to land uses in the Facility area; public health and safety; ecological resources, protected species and habitats, and water resources; communications, transportation, and utilities; cultural, historical and recreational resources; visual impacts and screening; sound; and impacts on the statewide electrical system, among others.
After many months of negotiations, stipulations were released for public comment in late 2019, and fully executed stipulations were filed in January 2020.Article 10 Application
Flint Mine Solar has entered the next phase of the Article 10 process, with the May 27, 2020 filing of its Article 10 Application, which includes the studies agreed to during the scoping and stipulations phase, as well as detailed information about the proposed Facility. Notices were circulated to local residents, and published in local newspapers, as set forth in the Flint Mine Solar Public Involvement Program (PIP) Plan.
To facilitate participation in the upcoming Application and Hearings phases of the Article 10 process, Flint Mine Solar will submit $100,000 toward an intervenor fund, to be disbursed by the Hearing Examiners to host municipalities and local groups seeking to participate in review of the Application. By law, at least fifty percent of this fund will be set aside for municipal parties. Instructions for accessing these funds will be issued by the Examiners once the Application is filed.
Members of the public will have opportunities to review the Application materials online and at local document repositories, to submit public comments on the Siting Board’s website, and to make formal comments on the record at Public Statement Hearings, which will be scheduled soon after the State determines the Flint Mine Application complies with Article 10’s requirements. The Siting Board will then have one year from that compliance determination to make a decision on the Application.Interaction with Public Policy
On March 9, 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the latest round of solar and wind energy awards under the NYS Clean Energy Standard, which includes the Flint Mine Solar project. Together these projects "represent a significant step in advancing the Governor's [plan] to obtain 50 percent of New York's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Award recipients were chosen from a pool of 88 applications from 30 clean energy developers. The state's $1.4 billion investment is expected to spur over $3 billion of direct investment over the life of the projects, with support for these new projects provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority." That entire announcement can be found here.Monitoring Siting Board Proceedings
For those interested in monitoring Siting Board Proceedings, there are several options available for those who wish to participate in or monitor the proceedings of a particular case. Please read the details of each in the attached document and decide which is the best option for you. Click here to view the document.