David L. Shaw Finger Lakes Time
WATERLOO – The Trelina Solar Power Center planned for Seneca County has passed a major hurdle.
On Aug. 11, the state Civil Service Commission approved major compliance filings for five large wind and solar farms in upstate, including the 80-megawatt Trelina project in Waterloo. Action by the PSC was necessary before the project could start some construction-related activities or become operational.
“We are pleased to receive recognition from the Public Service Commission that the Trelina Solar Energy Center has achieved an important milestone in our ongoing commitment to supporting the development of clean, renewable energy in New York State. “said company spokesman Matt Eissey. “We continue to believe in the ability of this project to benefit the community by providing millions in revenue to the county, city and school district, as well as hundreds of jobs in Seneca County.”
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Trelina’s compliance documents had to be filed and approved by the PSC as the developer, NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Fla., prepares to begin tree clearing and grading work on the 400-acre property that he buys and rents in Gem Lake. Farms. NextEra is also the developer of the Garnett Energy Center project in the Cayuga County town of Conquest, which is still under state review.
The PSC found that 11 Trelina compliance filings and supplements “reasonably ensure compliance with the corresponding certificate terms in the certificate order and are approved for the purposes discussed.”
The PSC has approved compliance documents detailing the plan to meet the state’s technical and environmental clearing and grading plan requirements, allowing clearing and grading activities to begin. The plan was submitted in December 2021 and additional information was added in June, July and August.
The emergency response plan is also approved for all phases of construction and operation. However, although approved, it must be submitted and approved for the operation and decommissioning phase.
The traffic control plan and maps, site plans and profile figures and facility construction details are approved for the clearing and grading phase of construction.
Other approved plans for all phases of construction are final wetland impact drawings, site plans and construction details; the wood recovery plan; spill prevention, containment and control plan; and the Invasive Species Management and Control Plan.
Although the Cultural Resource Protection Measures Plan is approved for all phases of construction, the PSC stated that before construction begins, Trelina must demonstrate evidence of a resolution letter signed between the Department of the Civil Service, Trelina and the Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Trelina needed to get input from the state office on whether the solar project could impact cultural resources on the property that are listed or eligible for listing on the State or National Register of Historic Places.
As part of these consultations, Trelina modified the design of the project to avoid physical impact on archaeological sites eligible for historical registration and developed landscaping plans to minimize the visibility of the project by filtering views of project components. for architectural resources eligible for the national register.
The state office determined that the project would visually impact the setting of two National Registry-eligible properties of an agricultural complex at 2645 Serven Road and the Pierson Farm at 403 Packwood Road. Rather than alter the vegetative scouting plan, Trelina offered to offset the impacts by donating $15,000 to the Waterloo Library & Historical Society for the preservation of Fatzinger Hall at the library. The library accepted this amount.
The State Parks office responded by saying the amount should be $400 to $500 per megawatt. Trelina has increased its offer to $32,000 for the preservation of Fatzinger Hall, an amount still awaiting state approval.
In accordance with the certificate order, additional compliance deposits are required before future stages of construction can begin.
The five projects are among 17 renewable energy projects approved so far by the State Council on Power Generation Location and Environment. Together, the projects will generate more than 2,310 megawatts of clean, renewable energy for the public grid.
Jeremy Boyer can be reached at (315) 282-2231 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenBoyer