Escalation of park projects develop, particularly in Ticonderoga
The Adirondack Park continued to draw the attention of solar developers and the state as New York looks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by no less than 85% by 2050 from 1990 levels. The state’s climate goals also include 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025.
The Adirondack Park Agency has approved nine solar energy projects totaling 69 megawatts since the fall of 2020. It approved one project in 2020, three projects in 2021 and five projects this year.
The APA approved a second 20-megawatt project in September and the state’s first “build read” solar project through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The 62,000 panels will be installed on 111 acres of an old mine tailings pile in St. Lawrence County across the street from a former federal Superfund site. It’s the largest solar panel installation approved in the park, aside from a 20-megawatt project APA approved in 2021 in the Town of Ticonderoga.
The majority of solar projects approved in the park thus far are concentrated near Ticonderoga in the Lake Champlain Valley. In February, the APA approved a fourth solar project in the town, followed by a fifth in March, and a sixth in May. In April, the APA approved a 1.5-megawatt project in nearby Crown Point.
State, local and even federal officials are still trying to find balance between protecting prime farmland where some of these solar installations are planned and supporting renewable energy projects. Some are working on a part of a solution by mapping the most likely places for solar arrays.
— Gwendolyn Craig