By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
COEYMANS — Construction on the Coeymans Solar Farm project is expected to begin in early May.
The project by Hecate Energy Albany will consist of a 40-megawatt solar electric generation facility located on 428 acres in the town of Coeymans, between Routes 9W and 101.
After construction is complete, the solar farm is expected to supply 73,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, providing enough energy to power over 10,000 average households, according to the company’s website.
The solar farm will include photovoltaic solar panels and other infrastructure including inverters, underground collection cables, two on-site collection substations, gravel access roads and security fencing.
Construction is expected to begin around May 6, according to the pre-construction notice issued by Hecate Energy.
Work at the site that is expected to generate noticeable noise to the surrounding neighborhood “will be limited to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the exception of activities which may need to occur during extended hours beyond this schedule,” according to the company.
Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh welcomed the project.
“I am excited that the solar farm is starting construction soon and very happy that Coeymans is playing such a vital role in green energy not only with this large solar farm, but also with the offshore wind project coming to Coeymans,” McHugh said. “I am hopeful that Coeymans will be recognized as a leader in clean green energy, and a center for green energy industry.”
The project was granted approval April 14 by the New York State Public Service Commission, a public utilities commission that regulates and oversees the electric, water, gas and telecommunication industries in New York.
The Public Service Commission on Jan. 7, 2021, granted the project a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need with Conditions, under Article 10, “to construct and operate a utility-scale solar electric generating facility in the Town of Coeymans,” according to Public Service Commission documents.
Conditions for final approval of the project required mitigations to the impact of the project’s construction and operation, according to the PSC’s order issued April 15, 2022.
Hecate Energy submitted Compliance Filings on March 4, 2022, and supplemented them with additional documents and filings in March and April.
Under state law, a 21-day public comment period was provided prior to the PSC’s determination.
“No public comments regarding the Compliance Filing were filed during the required 21-day comment period,” according to the commission.
Coeymans Solar Farm is expected to create more than 140 construction jobs as the project is being built.
Fourteen written public comments were submitted to the PSC between 2018 and January 2022 and the vast majority were supportive of the project. The project has received bipartisan support, including letters of support from former Town Supervisor Philip Crandall, a Democrat, in 2018, and current Town Supervisor George McHugh, a Republican, in 2020.