There are a significant number of renewable energy facilities developed and proposed in Greene County including utility-scale solar, community solar and battery energy storage systems.
The demand for development of renewable energy facilities in Greene County will continue to increase due to the recent passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The newly enacted legislation requires New York to get 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030 and create a statewide electrical demand system with zero emissions by 2040.
Municipalities in Greene County are seeing a number of proposals for these renewable energy facilities and have grappled with the need to determine how best to plan for and regulate these facilities at the local level that both protect community character and at the same time support and encourage renewable forms of producing power.
There are a growing number of resources available to help local officials learn about how best to plan for renewable energy resources in their communities.
Community Solar facilities have been increasing in number in New York State. Greene County now has several Community Solar facilities. There are community solar projects in Greenville, Freehold, Cairo, Palenville and Tannersville. Another facility is being proposed in Coxsackie. Community solar facilities
provide access to solar energy generation to households and businesses that do not have access to solar because they rent, live in multi-tenant buildings, have roofs that are not conducive to a solar system, or other mitigating factors. The Community Solar project has a large numbers of solar panels (often ground mounted) on several acres of land. Also called ‘solar farms’ they are designed to provide residents the opportunity to either subscribe or purchase solar power by renting or buying the number of panels they need to supply electricity to their homes or business. To be a part of a community solar project you need to have an account with an electric utility.
The Solar Guidebook includes tools, and step-by-step instructions to support local governments managing solar energy development in their communities. The Guidebook covers a variety of solar energy topics including, the permitting process, property taxes, solar installation in an agricultural district, decommissioning and a model solar energy law.
The Wind Energy Guidebook includes information on wind energy basics and the processes, regulations, and other important considerations involved in siting wind farms. This can help prepare local decision-makers and community members for wind energy development.
NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Guidelines for Agricultural Mitigation for Wind Power Projects.
This Pace University article on permitting and zoning for wind energy facilities may be helpful at the local level.
As battery storage systems are being advanced in the state, it behooves local town and planning boards to familiarize themselves with the New York State Battery Energy Storage System Guidebook for Local Government