Community Group Welcomes Step Forward for Solar Energy in New York

By Hillary Aidun

On Wednesday, August 4, the New York Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) approved a 100-megawatt solar facility in New York State. The Flint Mine Solar Project will displace up to 4.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime and infuse $15 million directly into the local economy through payments to participating landowners. The Siting Board’s decision was celebrated by a group of local farmers, residents, and other stakeholders called Friends of Flint Mine Solar, which has advocated for the project for years.

Friends of Flint Mine Solar is a client of the Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative, a joint effort by the Sabin Center and the law firm of Arnold & Porter to provide pro bono legal counsel to groups and individuals who support renewable energy projects in their communities. RELDI represented Friends of Flint Mine Solar in litigation before the Siting Board and before a New York State Supreme Court to advocate for the project.

New York State critically needs solar energy. The state cannot meet its statutorily mandated renewable energy targets without scaling up solar energy capacity. Following the 2019 adoption of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, a minimum of 70% of statewide electric generation must be supplied by renewable energy by 2030, and 100% must be derived from zero-emission sources by 2040. The state’s approval of the Flint Mine Solar Project is a critical step towards meeting its climate goals.

Read more about RELDI here.

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