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.

Community Outreach Office 

Our community office is currently open on an appointment only basis due to COVID-19 guidelines. The office, located at 6421 Campbell Blvd, Suite B in Lockport, will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday. Those wishing to visit the office with their questions are asked to email Community Engagement Coordinator Rikki Cason at and let her know which date and approximate time they would like to stop in. Appointments will be made in 15-minute intervals. 

Upon arrival, visitors will be greeted at the door by Rikki, who will take their temperature. If cleared, visitors will be directed to the center conference table where they must remain for the duration of their visit. Masks and social distancing practices will be required during the entire visit. 

During this unprecedented time, virtual appointments can also be made through phone call or Zoom meeting. These appointments will be done during the Wednesday office hours. 

This procedure and hours will continue until Cypress Creek Renewables’ corporate offices reopen in 2021. At that time, we will return to our normal hours of Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Community feedback and questions are importation to us, so If current hours do not fit your schedule, email Rikki and she will set up a time that will work, either through in-person or virtual option. 

We look forward to getting back into the community and further addressing questions and concerns there may be regarding the Bear Ridge Solar Project. We also appreciate the community’s patience during this time. 

Siting Process (94 C)

Siting Process (94 C) New York State has enacted a significant overhaul of large-scale renewable energy project permitting, replacing the process under Article 10 of the Public Service Law. The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act will help move the State toward achieving the goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (“CLCPA”). These goals include having a minimum of 70% statewide electricity consumption come from renewable sources by 2030. 

Under the Act, large-scale renewable energy projects will now apply to a streamlined permitting regime overseen by a newly-created Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES), within the Department of State. The Act creates a centralized, uniform permitting process for large-scale renewable energy generation facilities. No other state agency, department, authority, or municipality may require any approval for a major renewable energy project, provided that a municipality has been given notice.

ORES will consult with NYSERDA, the Department of Environmental Consultation, the Department of Public Service, the Department of Agriculture & Markets, and any other relevant state agencies and authorities with subject matter expertise to set uniform permitting standards and conditions. These standards and conditions will be designed to avoid or minimize, to the maximum extent possible, any potential significant adverse environmental impacts. Before the uniform standards and conditions are adopted, ORES must hold four public hearings in different regions of the state to receive comments from the public and the municipalities. 

Once an Application under the process is filed, ORES must determine that the application is complete within sixty days, and the developer must submit proof that it consulted with the local municipalities about the procedural and substantive requirements of any applicable local law. 

Within sixty days from completion of the Section 94-c, ORES will publish draft permit conditions for public comment. Members of the public as well as municipalities have sixty days to respond. If any comment raises a “substantive and significant issue,” then ORES must proceed to an adjudicatory hearing to hear arguments and consider evidence on that issue. General statements of opposition will be considered by ORES but would not warrant a hearing. 

Municipalities who receive notice of a Section 94-c application “shall” submit a statement to ORES indicating whether the project complies with local law. If the municipality states that the project does not comply, and ORES decides not to hold an adjudicatory hearing, then the Department of State must hold a public statement hearing in the affected municipality. 

All 94-C Permits will require the permittee to provide a host community benefit. Permittees and host communities can agree to the type of benefit that will be provided, or ORES or the PSC can determine the type of project that would benefit the community. 

ORES, may elect not to apply, in whole or in part, any local law or ordinance which would otherwise be applicable if it makes a finding that, as applied to the proposed major renewable energy facility, it is unreasonably burdensome in view of the CLCPA targets and the environmental benefits of the proposed major renewable energy facility.

Last Update: 2/25/21