Bear Ridge Solar Project

A proposed 100 MW-AC solar facility in the Towns of Cambria and Pendleton, Niagara County, New York

Street view of solar farm behind trees next to house

About Bear Ridge Solar

Illustration of of the Bear Ridge Solar Project facility and study areasIn support of New York State’s Clean Energy Standard mandate to secure 50 percent of the State’s electrical supply from renewable sources by 2030, Cypress Creek Renewables is proposing to construct “Bear Ridge Solar,” a 100 MW-AC solar energy generation facility in the towns of Cambria and Pendleton, Niagara County, New York. The project is expected to be sited on approximately 900 acres and will safely generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power between 15,000 and 20,000 single-family homes. The project will also offset an estimated 160,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the road each year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Social Cost of Carbon, a measure, in dollars, of the long-term damage done by a ton of CO2 emissions in a single year and the value of damages avoided through an emission reduction, the environmental benefit of this project will provide an economic benefit equivalent to$6.2 million per year to the State of New York.


About Article 10

Article 10 is a regulatory process under the New York State Public Service Law that provides for the siting review of new energy projects considered “major electric generating facilities” by the Board of Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, or the “siting board.” The Article 10 process provides a unified review and approval for major electric generating facilities with a capacity greater than 25 MW in New York State.

Article 10 follows a five-phase process—and every phase includes opportunities for public comment:

  • Pre-application

  • Application

  • Administrative Hearings

  • Siting Board Decision

  • Compliance


Submittal of the PIP is the first step in the Article 10 process—the next step, submittal of a Preliminary Scoping Statement cannot be taken until 150 days after the PIP has been submitted. The PIP, which is available on the Department of Public Service (DPS) website, as well as on the project website, www.bearridgesolar.com, outlines a variety of public participation opportunities throughout the decision-making process.


Summary of Intervenor Funding Process and How to Apply

Intervenor refers to a party that joins an Article 10 proceeding as a third-party for the protection of an interest. Some intervenors join as a matter of right, others are permitted to join by the Presiding Examiner or the Siting Board. Article 10 entitles the municipal and local parties to intervenor funding provided by the Applicant to be used to defray certain expenses incurred in their participation in the pre-application scoping process. Intervenors and interested parties have specific interests and issues of concern, and communication with them will therefore, extend beyond that which is conducted with other audiences to provide them with as much detail as possible to address their information needs. The Applicant will deposit intervenor funds with the DPS at the time the pre- Application Preliminary Scoping Statement is filed in an amount equal to $350 for each 1,000 kilowatts (i.e. 1 MW) of generating capacity of the Facility, but no more than $200,000. Pre-application funds will be dispersed to qualifying parties to aid in their participation in the Scoping phase of this proceeding. Each request for pre- Application funds will be submitted to the Presiding Examiner assigned to the proceeding before the Siting Board, and at least 50 percent of the pre-application intervenor funds shall be reserved for potential awards to municipalities. Additional funds for intervenor participation will be deposited with the DPS at the time the Project Application is filed in an amount equal to $1,000 for each 1,000 kilowatts of capacity, but no more than $400,000. Funds deposited with the Application may be used by parties for qualifying consultants and activities in the post-Application phase of the proceeding.


Project Milestones


Visualization of Article 10 Process
  • Submit Draft Public Involvement Plan (PIP) – 6/5/18

  • Submit Final Public Involvement Plan (PIP)

  • Submit PSS

  • Submit Application

  • Determination


Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment

Siting Board Website
Siting Board Public Information Coordinator


About Cypress Creek Renewables

Cypress Creek Renewables is one of the nation’s largest dedicated providers of solar projects and has built an important history of partnering with local communities, governments, and utilities to help advance a national clean energy program. Cypress Creek’s projects contribute to local economic development, job growth, and increase the use of renewables for a cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable source of power nationwide. In 2017 alone, Cypress Creek built nearly 15% of all utility-scale solar installed in the U.S., more than any other utility-scale solar developer. Nationally, Cypress Creek has developed over 2 GW of electricity and owns and operates a portfolio of 1.5 GW across four states – enough to power 500,000 homes. Some benefits realized by Cypress Creek projects include:


  • A source of consistent, annual income for the landowners. This is especially helpful when the landowner’s occupation provides variable income, as is often the case year-to-year for farmers;

  • New job creation both in temporary construction jobs and long-term solar farm operations, and a stimulus for local business growth and expansion to provide needed services to support the new solar facility;

  • New tax revenue streams for the communities it serves; and

  • A “Good Neighbor Commitment” by working together with local communities in advancing local projects and helping fulfill community needs, like playgrounds, ballfields, emergency services equipment, job training, and science, technology, engineering, agricultural, and mathematics (STEAM) programs.


Cypress Creek Renewables in New York State

In New York State, Cypress Creek has been working to advance clean energy for over three years, delivering millions of dollars in investment and economic development to communities across the State through its 19 permitted community solar projects and over 50 others in development. Through this investment, Cypress Creek has demonstrated a commitment to the state through solar development and other community-focused initiatives, including:

  • A partnership with the Hudson Valley Community College Workforce Development Institute to reduce course fees in solar job training, with a focus on recruiting veterans, women, and underrepresented communities in the solar industry.

  • Improved soil and agricultural productivity for local farmland resulting from the installation of on-site pollinator habitat at every NY Cypress Creek project, including Bear Ridge Solar. Through planting and managing native, pollinator-friendly vegetation, storm water runoff can be reduced by 8-23 percent and wild pollinator populations, such as bees and butterflies, can be restored and sustained. In 2016, New York lost half of its managed pollinator populations, which are vital for the crop yield of pollinator-dependent crops worth $344 million to the State’s agricultural industry. Cypress Creek’s projects will provide thousands of acres of healthy habitat for insects urgently needed to support agriculture.

  • Investments of new solar installations of approximately $740 million dollars in the next five years, much of it going to the local communities where the solar projects will be developed.



Solar 101 Open House

New energy choices are coming, and people have a lot of questions. We held Solar 101 sessions on October 3 and 4 with solar power experts to provide some answers about different kinds of solar power. We were excited to have an opportunity to speak with so many community members about Bear Ridge Solar! Read more about the Solar 101 event via WIVB 4.

Solar 101 event for the Bear Ridge Solar Project

 

Community members learning about solar at the Bear Ridge Solar 101 event

 

Bear Ridge Solar’s proposed facility in Cambria and Pendleton, NY will deliver clean, reliable, renewable solar energy into the grid in Western New York. That’s power for nearly 25,000 homes and businesses, construction jobs for up to 300-and economic benefits for the community.


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Headshot of dark haired woman

Marisa Scavo
Project Developer
Cypress Creek Renewables

Marisa Scavo is a permitting specialist that has dedicated the past three years to advancing New York State's clean energy program for Cypress Creek Renewables. She has managed permitting for over 30 late-stage development projects in NY, ranging from 2 MW community solar projects to 100 MW utility-scale projects. At Cypress Creek, Marisa has also focused on CCR's Solar + Pollinator Initiative in the Northeast to support the collocation of renewable energy and agriculture, international electrification project construction and fundraising in Nepal and Puerto Rico, and the company's first diversity internship program supporting students of color, women, and veterans.


Headshot of light haired man

Kevin Kohlstedt
Project Developer
Cypress Creek Renewables

Kevin Kohlstedt is an innovative project manager committed to working with communities to bring them meaningful benefits through clean energy projects. Kevin has spent nearly 10 years developing, designing, and constructing large scale projects across the U.S. At Cypress Creek, Kevin leads the development of transmission-scale solar projects in the Northeast, helping to deliver clean energy to power thousands of homes and businesses. With an engineering background and masters in design innovation and business administration, Kevin uses his multi-disciplinary experience to understand local context and create valuable solutions for communities and customers alike.




Bear Ridge Solar Project Contact Information

(800) 385-1802

partnerrelations@ccrenew.com


Harris Beach
c/o Cypress Creek Renewables
Larkin at Exchange
726 Exchange Street, Suite 1000
Buffalo, NY 14210




Flowering pollinator habitat and solar array

Pollinator species at the Cypress Creek owned Baker Point Solar Project in Frederick County, MD.



Intro to Bear Ridge Project Team


Harris Beach logo

Harris Beach

Harris Beach is a New York State law firm that has been recognized nationally for being at the forefront of innovation for 160 years. Harris Beach provides the energy and regulatory expertise, as well as the tools and technology needed to deliver high-quality services to meet client goals. They are fully up to date with New York State's complex and ever-changing energy landscape, which is essential for clients in navigating this industry. Their experienced Energy Industry Team regularly works with clients in all aspects of energy law, successfully leading private and public entities to succeed in achieving their energy initiatives.


Environmental Design & Research, Landscape Architecture, Engineering & Environmental Services, D.P.C. logo

EDR - Environmental Design & Research, Landscape Architecture, Engineering & Environmental Services, D.P.C.

EDR is a woman-owned firm doing business since 1979 from their offices located in Upstate New York. The EDR team is a diverse staff of professionals including environmental regulatory specialists, ecologists, cultural resource professionals, landscape architects, civil engineers, community planners, graphic communication, and mapping specialists. EDR is among the leading environmental permitting consultants with more than two decades of experience working on renewable energy projects in the Eastern United States. They have been involved in the review and permitting of over 50 utility-scale renewable energy projects. EDR has an extensive background in federal, state, and local permitting strategies, including SEQRA, Article 10 and Article VII, Federal Clean Water Act (Sections 401 and 404), and NEPA. In support of these regulations, EDR routinely conducts and facilitates various studies and analyses including wetland and stream delineations, invasive species surveys, cultural/archaeological surveys, visual impact assessments, socioeconomic analyses, and civil and site engineering.


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ASC - Arch Street Communications

ASC is a woman-owned strategic communications firm that builds awareness of social issues that affect Americans - in energy, transportation, safety, and air quality. Based in New York State for more than 25 years, they work alongside public and private sector clients to develop integrated communications solutions for projects in renewable energy, energy policy, and power initiatives that support and expand the energy grid. ASC's outreach team leverages best practice strategies to inform, involve, and engage the public through defensible, robust outreach programs delivered by professionals trained in SEQR, NEPA, Article VII and Article 10 environmental processes. ASC has deep experience across New York, having completed successful public engagement projects in more than 70 communities across the state.

Last Update: 2018-09-20