State siting board meets Tuesday to discuss plans for solar farm in Brasher

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Aug. 4—BRASHER — The state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment is scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday as part of the Article 10 process for North Side Energy Center's plans to construct a solar electric generating facility in the towns of Brasher, Norfolk and Massena.

The webcast can be accessed at wdt.me/SitingWebcast.

A hearing had originally been scheduled for June 30 but was postponed at the request of Read and Laniado LLP, attorneys for North Side Energy Center.

North Side Energy Center provided notice early last year that it intended to file its application with the state siting board for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to authorize construction and operation of the project.

On July 9, 2021, the Article 10 application filed by the company was determined to comply with the filing requirements of Public Service Law.

NextEra Energy Resources, through its subsidiary North Side Energy Center, is proposing to develop, build, own and operate a solar facility that will produce 180 megawatts of power. It would have a construction period of about 12 to 14 months, starting late this year and going into 2023.

The 180-megawatt solar energy center will be located on land leased or purchased from private property owners in the towns of Brasher, Norfolk and Massena. Project components include commercial-scale solar arrays; access roads; buried, and possibly overhead electric collection lines; a project collection substation; and electrical interconnection facilities.

The bulk of the project — 90% — will be located in Brasher.

Although the project area is 2,200 acres, the actual solar facility area encompasses 961 acres. The company has partnered with local landowners to have access to the project area, but the land will still belong to the landowners.

Officials have said an anticipated 200-plus full-time jobs will be created during construction, from equipment operators to laborers to truck drivers. Once construction is complete, there would be two to three permanent positions that are typically high tech in nature. Outside of permanent employment during the operational phase, there would be requirements for additional services and supplies, such as mowing vegetation and managing snow.

Once the project is constructed, taxes would benefit the local communities, school district and county. The company is seeking a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT agreement with the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency.

To view documents related to siting board cases, visit wdt.me/SitingCases.