The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has selected five Boralex Inc. solar farms, totaling 540 MW generation and 77MW storage, as part of its 2021 solicitation to obtain utility-scale renewable energy certificates. Once completed, the solar farms will produce more solar electricity than 1 TWh per year, which is enough to power more that 141,200 homes each year.
The selected photovoltaic projects for electricity generation will be located throughout upstate New York. Fort Covington Solar Farm is 250 MW solar farm that is paired with a storage project of 77 MW. The solar farm is located within Franklin County in the Town of Fort Covington and generates 473,040 MWh each year. Boralex is partnering with Savion LLC to develop the battery energy storage system, which has an anticipated 308 MWh energy storage capacity, and will be in the Town of Brookhaven’s hamlet of Yaphank in Suffolk County.
Newport Solar Farm, a 130 MW solar farm located in the Town of Deerfield (Oneida County) and Town of Newport (Herkimer County), is estimated to generate 244,842 megawatts of electricity annually.
Fort Edward Solar Farm, a 100 MW farm located in the Towns Argyle in Washington County, is estimated to produce 192,720 MWh per year. Foothills Solar Farm in Fulton County is a 40-MW solar farm that generates 75,336 megawatts annually. Easton Solar Farm, a 20 MW solar farm in Easton, Washington County, is estimated to generate 38.369 MWh annually.
Further, in line with the company’s environmental, social and governance priorities, Boralex has created the Beyond Renewables Fund to provide support to host and disadvantaged communities. Resources will be given to local partners focused on STEM education and workforce development programming for the length of the facilities’ operations.
“This announcement solidifies Boralex’s role in New York State’s energy market during this critical expansion of renewable electricity generation,” says Patrick Decostre, president and CEO of Boralex. “These projects showcase the strategic, creative approaches to solar farm development and community engagement our reputation is built on. I am proud of the Boralex team and their efforts to create clean, competitive energy.”
“The large-scale solar projects announced, including five Boralex projects, bring New York State significantly closer to reaching our clean energy goals and transitioning us toward a zero-emission electricity system,” says Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “NYSERDA looks forward to working with Boralex to ensure these projects are advanced responsibly and with local input to allow host communities to realize the critical jobs and investments that will come from these solar farms.”
To further New York State’s goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030, NYSERDA launched its fifth request for proposals April 2021 for the purchase of New York Tier-1 Eligible Renewable Energy Certificates (REC). RECs refer to renewable electricity entering an electricity grid. Each REC is equal to 1 MWh electricity generated from a renewable source like solar. Boralex and NYSERDA will now begin a process to purchase RECs for the energy production of selected projects. The RECs must be consumed in New York State. The price of the RECs will be indexed to a reference energy and capacity price, which will hedge the projects’ merchant energy and capacity revenues, obviating a need for the projects to obtain a separate long term offtake agreement for the sale of energy and capacity.
“Fort Edward welcomes today’s news and is excited to be part of an effort to create clean, renewable energy,” states Fort Edward Town Supervisor Timothy Fisher. “We look forward to watching the project’s progress and the economic benefits attached to solar farm development.”
“At Cornell Cooperative Extension, we help our communities address youth development, economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being through education,” comments Brian Gilchrist, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Washington County, which will receive funding as part of Boralex’s community engagement plans. “Support from Boralex and their Beyond Renewables Fund will allow us to enhance our outreach and expand our programming, and we are excited to see how this partnership will grow over the next years and decades.”