Hectate Energy promises solar farm will benefit local economy in the ‘millions’

Copake, NY—[February 3, 2020] – Columbia County would become one of the Empire State’s leading producers of clean, low-carbon solar energy with a new solar project proposed for installation in the Town of Copake by Hecate Energy (“Hecate”).

The 60-megawatt Shepherd’s Run Solar project will be built along Routes 23 and 7 in the hamlet of Craryville. The proposed site includes abutting areas totaling approximately 900+ acres, though Hecate anticipates the final footprint of the solar farm will be significantly smaller.

Based upon the project’s planned size, it will serve the average yearly consumption of 15,000 New York households. The project will be connected to the grid at the existing Craryville substation on Route 23, eliminating the need for new transmission lines, and the electricity will flow to the nearest local points of demand.

“If enough local consumers are interested, there is also the option to set up a Community Choice Aggregation “CCA” program whereby Columbia County residents can purchase output from the project to cover their electricity use,” said Alex Campbell, Project Developer for Hecate Energy.

In addition, said Campbell, based on the project’s size and expected output, it will also provide the additional local economic benefits:

  • $5 to $7 million in new revenue for local government;
  • 200+ local construction jobs over the approximately 9-12 month construction period;
  • School funding;
  • First responder funding;
  • Library funding; and
  • Economic activity that will benefit area businesses.

Campbell said, Hecate places a priority on working closely with local officials and neighbors, involving the community in the development and permitting process to create the best possible project for everyone involved. To do this, Hecate said the community can expect:

·        Easy to access information and a place to provide feedback about the project with a dedicated project website www.shepherdsrunsolar.com;

·        Regular project updates by the project team for local governments (town, county, civic groups);

·        Close coordination and specialized training for first responders who may encounter solar panels. (In nearby Coxsackie, Hecate sponsored first responder solar training and would expect to do the same with Shepherd’s Run.)

·        Media briefings to keep the community current on project progress; and

·        As part of the permitting process, development of a decommissioning plan ensuring that if the project ever stops functioning as a solar power generation facility, all the components are cleared and properly disposed of without impact to local taxpayers.

As required for any project over 25 MW, Hecate is applying for the permit to build the solar farm under Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law, which provides for the review of new or modified electric generating facilities by the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (visit Siting Board home page). This comprehensive process enables community involvement by providing local representation on the siting board and funding for locally interested groups and individuals to participate in the process.

“We are very excited about Hecate’s Shepherd’s Run Solar facility announcement,” said Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (“ACENY”). “We need more of these large-scale, high-quality projects like this one if we hope to come close to the renewable energy goals established to address global climate change.” 

“Today’s announcement is the beginning of our efforts to inform the community, seek your input and engage your participation as we work to develop Shepherd’s Run Solar project into a facility about which the entire community can be justifiably proud,” Campbell said.

Hecate currently has two other solar projects in the New York State Article 10 siting process: Coeyman’s Solar, a proposed 40 MW facility in southern Albany County and the proposed 50 MW Greene County Solar in the town of Coxsackie.

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About Hecate Energy
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hecate Energy is a developer of solar farms, wind farms, and energy storage projects. Founded in 2012 by a team of energy industry veterans who have worked together for more than 25 years, Hecate Energy has developed thousands of megawatts of clean energy projects across North America.