About The Project
Invenergy began development of Verona Solar in 2019 and is working to obtain necessary permits and agreements to support a 2025 construction start date.
In April 2020, New York State updated their Renewable Energy Permitting Process with Section 94-c. This established the Office of Renewable Energy Siting within the NYS Department of state to provide for a single forum that takes into consideration local laws, public health and safety, environmental, social and economic factors to permit renewable energy projects. We are preparing the comprehensive application required by ORES. The application will include studies of wildlife, noise, visual impacts, shadows, wetlands, geology, archaeology, historic structures, economic benefits and many other topics required by state regulations. To learn more about the new certification process, click here to visit the ORES website.
In parallel with the 94-c certification process, we are working continually to discuss the project with stakeholders and landowners interested in participating in Verona Solar. Upon the filing of the Verona Solar 94-c application, we will post an intervenor fund equivalent to $1,000 per megawatt which will be made available to host municipality, political subdivision or local community members. This funding can be used by local agencies or potential community intervenor and they must submit their request for initial funding within thirty days of the Verona Solar application filing.
Send intervenor funding requests to email@example.com or by mail to:
Attention: Request for Local Agency Account Funding
Office of Renewable Energy Siting
Empire State Plaza
240 State Street P-1 South, J Dock
Albany, New York 12242
Please direct any questions regarding the intervenor funding process to the ORES email address above.
In the first 20 years of operation, Verona Solar is projected to pay millions of dollars in property taxes, lease payments to landowners, wages to employees, and payments for local goods and services. This represents a significant increase in economic activity in the Oneida County area. Additionally, payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) and host community agreement payments will benefit the county government and local schools.
New York has set ambitious targets to generate up to 100% clean electricity by 2040 with an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The state's goal calls for 70% renewable energy by 2030 which includes 6,000 MW of solar. New York is starting with significant base of renewable energy generation. Using sources as hydro-power, solar, and wind, New York percentage of renewable energy generation was 20% in 2010 and 22% in 2013.
In 2018, 26% of New York's electric power was sourced from renewable energy sources (21% from hydro). As of September 2019, New York has over 1,890 MW of solar energy, which is enough electricity to power over 326,000 New York households (1.67% of the state's electricity). This generation offsets the need to import or burn other fuels, helping to reduce fuel prices and emissions.
Solar energy and other renewable energy projects generate substantial economic benefits for New York. According to NYSEIA, there are more than 9,000 solar jobs in New York, and solar energy projects have invested over $3.5 billion dollars in New York businesses, landowners, and municipalities.
Section 94-c was enacted in April of 2020 under the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES), a division of the NYS Department of State, in order to streamline and expedite the permitting process. The 94-c process is meant to replace the previous Article 10 process for solar facilities with capacities greater than 25 MW. The complete regulations can be found on the ORES website.
After submittal of the 94-c application, there is a 30-day window in which individuals may request funding from the Local Agency Account. Within 60 days of the application submittal, the completeness of the application will be determined, and within the 60 days following that a draft permit will be issued. Once the draft permit is issued, there is a 60-day comment period in which the host community will issue a statement of compliance. Depending on the outcome of the comment period, the adjudicatory process may commence. Within one year of the application is determined to be complete, the final permit decision will be issued.
Local Agency Fund
Under 94-c, local agencies and community intervenors may apply for funds for each project to mitigate expenses for review of the proposed projects environmental, public health, and safety impacts. Within thirty (30) days after the deadline for requests for funds from the local agency account, the judge assigned to the case shall award local agency funds, to local agencies and potential community intervenors whose requests comply with the provisions of subdivision (h) of this section, so long as use of the funds will contribute to a complete record leading to an informed permit decision as to the appropriateness of the site and the facility, and for local agencies, shall include the use of funds to determine whether a proposed facility is designed to be sited, constructed and operated in compliance with applicable local laws and regulations. Local agencies and community intervenors must submit their request for funding within 30 days of the project’s application to the Office of Renewable Energy Siting.
Benefits for Host Communities
Verona Solar is an unparalleled development opportunity for the host town, with millions to be invested in the local economy over the life of the project. After careful evaluation, we selected this area for the project because of:
We take our commitment to our local host community seriously and look forward to continuing to work closely with the host town and Oneida County, contributing to the area's economic development, and providing clean, homegrown energy in New York.
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Invenergy is proud to to follow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Land-based Solar Energy Guidelines, which includes robust pre-construction wildlife and habitat surveys, early and frequent communication with wildlife agencies, and operational monitoring to ensure risk to wildlife is minimized.
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Solar is a quiet neighbor that does not generate traffic. After construction, roads and infrastructure will be left in the same or better condition than they were prior to their use for the construction.
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Solar farms have a light impact on farmland. Topsoil is left in place during construction and for the entire life of the project. When the project is decommissioned, the farmland will be returned to production after a long rest for the soil, much like the Conservation Reserve Program of the USDA, which has been resting farmland across the US for decades.