By Benjamin E. Wisniewski, Esq.
On April 24, 2019, Excelsior Energy, LLC (a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC), submitted a Public Involvement Program for a proposed solar energy facility to be located in the town of Byron, New York. Additional information about the project is available on the New York DPS DMM website for the project, available here.
As of May 6, 2019, there are no public comments about the project or parties to the proceeding. Only the Applicant’s employees and attorneys have appeared.
The filing of the PIP commenced a 150 day waiting period before the Applicant can proceed to the next step in the Article 10 process: the filing of a Preliminary Scoping Statement. In the interim, staff of the Department of Public Service will review the PIP and provide recommendations on how it could be improved The Applicant may then choose to incorporate or reject the suggested changes.
Unfortunately, the Applicant has already stated that it will not provide critical mailings relating to the availability of intervenor funding to most area residents: “Besides the open house notifications, Excelsior Energy Center does not plan additional broad mailings to area residents that do not register as stakeholders.” It remains to be seen how many residents actually “register” as stakeholders in response to the “general Project information” flyers they will receive. Will Excelsior Energy become yet another project where members of the local community only become aware of a project when it is too late to meaningfully participate in the pre-application phase of the proceeding?
For inquiries about the process for siting large power plants pursuant to Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law, please contact Benjamin E. Wisniewski. The Zoghlin Group represents individuals, public interest groups, and municipalities in Article 10 proceedings throughout New York State.
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