WATERLOO — The application for a certificate filed with the state for an 80-megawatt electric facility in the Packwood Road area is incomplete and must be revised and resubmitted.
That’s what the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment told Trelina Solar Energy Center in an Oct. 13 letter.
Company officials were informed of deficiencies in its Aug. 10 application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. They were told the deficiencies must be remedied before the application complies with the Public Service Law and a public hearing can be scheduled.
The letter came from siting board Chairman John Rhodes to Michelle Piasecki of Rochester, attorney for Florida-based Trelina.
The deficiencies and the corrective steps to be taken are listed as:
LOCATION OF FACILITIES: The figures submitted do not specifically show the location of the collection substation, point of interconnection switchyard and tap line, using the most recent U.S. Geological Survey maps. Trelina must revise the illustration to give specific locations of those three components.
PRELIMINARY DESIGN DRAWINGS: The architectural drawings for the structures need to provide an indication of the height and color of paneling for both control houses, as well as elevation views for the switchyard control house showing height and color.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The application did not include a required Phase IB archaeological study. Trelina must provide that study upon completion and proof of consultation with the state Historical Preservation Office.
Also, the company must provide a Phase II study if the historical preservation office deems it necessary based on the Phase I study results. If so, the Phase II study should be provided, along with proof of consultation with SHPO. The siting board also is requiring Trelina to provide proof of consultation with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) regarding its receipt, review and concurrence of the Historic Architectural Resources Survey and Effects Report.
GEOLOGY, SEISMOLOGY AND SOILS: The company is required to include a plan for securing compensation for damage that may occur due to blasting and pile driving. The state notes neither plan is included.
TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGY AND WETLANDS: The plant communities maps provided do not identify communities classified according to Ecological Communities of New York state, as required. The maps of invasive species in the proposed areas of disturbance provide the location of invasive species but do not identify the invasive species, as required.
VISUAL IMPACTS: Where vegetative screening is relied on for project mitigation, leaf-off and leaf-on simulations must be provided. Trelina did not submit leaf-off simulations.
Also, a Rating Impact Panel must be established to assess visual impacts and their qualifications are required. Trelina must produce the qualifications of the three people serving on the panel, as well as those who will complete the visual impact rating forms.
Trelina is seeking the certificates and permit for the solar project through the Article 10 process. It would be built on a roughly 400-acre parcel of farmland that would be leased by Trelina. Project components include solar arrays or panels, access roads, underground and possibly overhead electric collection lines and electrical interconnect facilities. The project also would include a substation and switchyard, with electricity connecting to a nearby NYSEG power station and added to the power grid.
Two local representatives have been named to the siting board for this project, Richard Swinehart and Randy Neth. The town of Waterloo has been awarded $28,000 in intervenor funds, provided by Trelina, to represent its interests in the project.
Once the application is deemed to be compliant, the siting board is required to make a decision within 12 months. Additional intervenor funds of $80,000 will be made available at the Administrative Law Judge hearing. The judge will schedule a pre-hearing conference to indentify intervenors, award intervenor funds, identify issues for the public hearing and establish a case schedule.