Massive solar project in Oriskany to help fuel Empire State Plaza in Albany

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ALBANY—The state Office of General Services and the New York Power Authority have selected a developer for several remote solar arrays that will provide Empire State Plaza in Albany with up to half of its electricity needs.

The solar arrays, which will be on state-owned land near the former Oneida County airport in Oriskany, are part of an energy upgrade for the Empire State Plaza. Officials say the project will move the complex nearer to the state’s goal to green the plaza and for 100% of the electric generation in the state to be renewable energy by 2040.

DG Development & Acquisitions, an Albany-based subsidiary of NextEra—the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy— was selected to develop more than 30 megawatts of solar generation on the state-owned land with the power benefiting the state and providing significant power to Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany.

The development of the arrays, which are currently in design, calls for the deployment of seven solar arrays spread across approximately 150 acres of land.

The installation of the solar arrays is expected to begin in 2022 and complete in 2023, according to an announcement Thursday by state officials.

“The development of this massive solar project in Oriskany will be the largest concentration of distributed-scale solar generation in New York State, providing a significant benefit to the state and the Empire State Plaza in Albany,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO.

“This project is a critical component of the comprehensive plan by OGS and NYPA to greatly improve reliability, resiliency and sustainability at the plaza,” Quiniones said.

“We are very pleased to be moving forward on this large-scale solar array development in Oneida County with Governor Hochul’s continued support,” said OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito. “Working closely with our partners at NYPA, the OGS team has already removed the smokestack from the former ANSWERS facility in Albany’s Sheridan Hollow neighborhood. We are also upgrading one of the Empire State Plaza’s steam-driven chillers and our emergency generators and have expanded our LED lighting program. This solar project further demonstrates our commitment to climate leadership in New York State,” she added.

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