FAQs about the North Side Energy Center

Q: What is the North Side Energy Center?

A: The North Side Energy Center has developed a proposal to establish a large-scale solar energy facility located in St. Lawrence County, New York. North Side Energy Center would significantly contribute to New York’s efforts to meet New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s renewable energy goals.

Q: How much energy will the Energy Center generate?

A: The North Side Energy Center will generate 180 megawatts of solar energy.

Q: How will the local community benefit from this project?

A: The North Side Energy Center is expected to position St. Lawrence County as a leader in renewable energy and help New York meet its renewable energy goals.

Q: Are there other benefits that the project will bring?

A: Governor Cuomo announced that New York should produce half of its total power from renewable sources by 2030 and projects like this will help meet that need.

This new source of clean, renewable power produces no air or water pollution and is in line with the state’s Clean Energy Standard and Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, which is fostering new opportunities for renewable power that will help New York transform its energy generation system.

Q: What is NextEra Energy Resources?

A: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S. NextEra Energy Resources is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). NextEra Energy, Inc. is a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of approximately $16.2 billion and approximately 14,700 employees in 30 states and Canada as of year-end 2016

Q: How is the project being approved?                                                                                                                     

A: Permitting and approval is overseen by New York State’s Article 10 process.

Q: What is Article 10?

A: The Power NY Act of 2011 established a process for the siting of electric generating facilities and re-powering projects. As part of the process, a multi-agency Siting Board is charged with conducting the permitting process for power plants of 25 megawatts or greater. The Power NY Act also encourages investments in clean plants and affords communities more opportunities to participate in the siting process. Learn more…

Responses to Questions Received Following the North Side Energy Center’s May 15, 2020 Mailer

Q: If any wetlands are disturbed during the construction of the solar project, will they be replaced, even if replaced in a nearby location?

A: Wetlands in New York are regulated by the State under the Freshwater Wetlands Act (Article 24) and/or by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under Section 44 of the Clean Water Act. Generally, if permanent wetland disturbances occur to State-regulated wetlands or exceed a disturbance area threshold for Federally regulated wetlands, then wetland mitigation is required. Mitigation requirements vary but can include onsite compensatory mitigation, offsite compensatory mitigation in a nearby location and/or compensatory mitigation through an in-lieu-fee program.

Q: The other local solar project in Potsdam, NY had to angle their panels slightly differently than originally planned due to potential reflection from the panels disrupting visibility for planes (for only a few minutes of the day) at the nearby airport. As the Massena airport is nearby, have you considered/evaluated the potential for visibility issues for pilots?

A: Photovoltaic panels are constructed with non-reflective coatings and/or glass. These panels are
designed specifically to absorb as much sunlight as possible in order to maximize electrical
generation, rather than reflect sunlight. Further, the metal supports that form the racking system are typically constructed using galvanized steel or aluminum. Through design and intelligent siting, glint and glare can be eliminated or kept to a minimum.

To assess the potential for impacts to aviation facilities, a glint and glare analysis will be performed as part of the Project’s Article 10 Application.

Q: Once complete, would the solar farm be open to tours from local students? I think it would be great to educate students on solar panels and have them hear from an expert.

A: NextEra welcomes the opportunity to educate the community, especially students, about the operations of our solar projects. Arrangements could be made once construction is complete and operations are underway.

Q: Would this solar project lead to decreased electricity costs for locals? (i.e. would you be partnering with National Grid or Massena Electric?)

A: Electricity from the North Side Energy Center project is expected to be delivered into the wholesale market that is administered by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).

Residential retail rates are charged by utility distribution companies pursuant to regulation by the New York Public Service Commission.

Q: I received an info packet on the solar project in my area. My question is if you have any prints on locations of panels. I live on a dead-end road and from all appearance it looks like all I will see once this project is done will be nothing but solar panels. What if any are your plans to not interfere with my lifestyle or my views?

A: The Project is still in its early stages and a proposed solar array layout is not available at this time. Detailed site plans prepared by a New York State engineer will be provided in the Project’s Article 10 Application depicting the proposed location of all Project components. Also included in the Application will be a Visual Impact Assessment analyzing potential visibility as a result of the Project along with a Landscape Screening Plan depicting any proposed visual mitigation determined necessary.

Q: Have interest in the project as it will pertain to County Route 46. I am assuming that will be an access point. What is planned for the small area off 46?

A: The Project is still in its early stages and a proposed layout is not available at this time. Detailed site plans prepared by a New York State engineer will be provided in the Project’s Article 10 Application depicting the proposed location of all Project components. However, given its proximity to the existing New York Power Authority substation and transmission facilities, it is likely that the Project’s interconnection facilities will be located in this area near County Route 46 and an access point will be required off of its right-of-way.

Q: As I read through your info pamphlets sent to me by you and as I have checked your web site, I do not see any mention of the Mohawk Tribe on your list of notifications.

A: Consultation with Federally Recognized Indian Nations are initiated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Based on the Project Area’s geographic location, consultation will be conducted with Indian Nations as determined by OPRHP. The Tribal Historic Preservation Offices for any Indian Nation consulted with will be included on the Master Stakeholder List so that they receive notifications.

Q: The Racquette river runs through their reserve and you will be very close to same on County Route 46. Are there runoff’s near there?

A: The land use, streams, waterbodies, wetlands and other slope of the Project Area will be studied and presented in the Article 10 Application.

Q: I’m sure you have timelines you would like to meet but public meetings should be allowed before this moves forward and since that is not an option right now moving ahead without Public meetings and input shouldn’t be either. With this project being very close to my property I have many questions myself. I look forward to your answers.

A: Considering the restrictions on public gatherings ordered by the Governor to combat the COVID- 19 pandemic, it was not possible to hold open houses during May 2020 when the North Side Energy Center had intended to do so. After discussing the matter with the Department of Public Service, the project has postponed holding the open house event, and, accordingly, it will be rescheduled to a date when the applicable public health restrictions are lifted and exposure risks have sufficiently abated.

Q: This study of land is to study impacts of wildlife. I watch deer play, ducks land, turkeys walk around, and plenty of other wildlife in those area. These animals will be homeless or forced to leave the area. Also, instead of sitting on my porch and watching animals I will be staring at big panels. What will that do to my property value?

A: As part of its development process, NextEra Energy Resources conducts thorough wildlife studies to ensure each site complies with all applicable state and federal environmental regulations. Protecting wildlife and sensitive natural resources is a priority for NextEra Energy Resources. No form of energy is free from environmental impact. However, solar energy has among the lowest impacts because it emits no air or water pollution.

Included in the Application will be a Visual Impact Assessment analyzing potential visibility as a result of the Project along with a Landscape Screening Plan depicting any proposed visual mitigation determined necessary.

The Solar Energy Industries Association has reviewed research on the relationship between solar development and property value and found: “Examining property value in states across the United States demonstrates that large-scale solar arrays often have no measurable impact on the value of adjacent properties, and in some cases may even have positive effects.” Property value, however, is not a topic the Siting Board considers when reviewing Article 10 projects.

NextEra Energy Resources invites interested individuals and organizations to join the stakeholder list by:

Calling (800) 237-7104

Mailing a letter to:
North Side Energy Center (E5E)
700 Universe Boulevard
Juno Beach, FL 33408

Sending an email to info@northsideenergycenter.com with the subject line “North Side Energy Center Stakeholder List;”

Visiting: www.northsideenergycenter.com/join-the-stakeholder-list/