Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES)

On August 27, 2021, Justice Peter Lynch of the New York State Supreme Court, Albany County issued the first substantive ruling in Town of Copake v. New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting, No. 905502-21 (Sup. Ct. Albany Cty. Aug. 27, 2021), a lawsuit challenging the validity of regulations promulgated by the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES). Specifically, in a brief order, the Court denied the petitioners’ request for a temporary restraining order and ordered argument on whether the petitioners are entitled to a preliminary injunction. Oral argument is scheduled for September 8, 2021.

Continue Reading Important Development in Lawsuit Challenging Office of Renewable Energy Siting Regulations

New York State continues to supercharge the deployment of renewable energy projects. Building on landmark legislation passed in 2019, New York State’s newly created Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) has now finalized the regulations that will govern siting and permitting of large-scale renewable energy projects greater than 25 MW; projects between 20 and 25MW have the option of proceeding under Article 10 of the Public Service Law or the ORES process. The regulations create a clear glide path that replaces the lengthy and cumbersome process previously established under Article 10. With these new procedures in place, developers can expect a 60-day shot clock for ORES to make a completeness determination, and a 12-month deadline for ORES to issue a final decision on a siting permit to promote cost-effective and efficient development that aligns with New York State’s commitment to fully decarbonize its electric sector by 2040.
Continue Reading New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting Streamlines and Expedites Deployment of Large-Scale Renewables

In an order issued on February 11, 2021, the New York State Public Service Commission (“Commission”) established a “host community benefit program” through which owners of large-scale renewable energy facilities (25 MW+) would pay $500/MW (for solar) or $1,000/MW (for wind) each year for the first 10 years of project operation to be distributed equally among all residential utility customers residing in the municipality where the facility would be located. See Case 20-E-0249, In the Matter of a Renewable Energy Facility Host Community Benefit Program, Order Adopting a Host Community Benefit Program (issued Feb. 11, 2021) (“Host Community Benefit Program Order”). Such benefits would complement—not replace—the numerous other benefits that renewable projects bring to local communities through payment in lieu of taxes (“PILOT”) agreements and other community agreements that fund local programs and initiatives.
Continue Reading New York State Public Service Commission Establishes Host Community Benefit Program

The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (“Accelerator Act”) was enacted to speed up the siting and construction of major renewable energy projects in New York State. One of the key components of the Accelerator Act was the creation of the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) within the New York State Department of State to address, in large part, many of the shortcomings of New York State’s existing Article 10 siting process. At the statutory level, ORES is intended to improve and streamline the process for cost-effective siting of large-scale renewable energy in a timely fashion in order to achieve the State’s aggressive renewable energy targets. Of course, the details would be fleshed out in regulations required to be promulgated within a year of the Act’s passage.
Continue Reading New York State’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting Draft Regulations Out for Public Comment