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BPU Signs Agreement With Future Ripley Solar Project

Although the proposed Ripley solar project has yet to be constructed or even get approval, it already has its first major customer from Chautauqua County.

ConnectGen LLC issued a news release Tuesday stating it is “pleased to announce that a wholly owned subsidiary has signed a 10-year agreement with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to sell Tier-1 Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) produced by the South Ripley Solar Project. Each REC represents the environmental attributes of one megawatt hour of electricity generated from a renewable resource, such as solar or wind.”

The South Ripley Solar Project is a planned 270-megawatt alternating current, photovoltaic solar energy facility that will be located in the town of Ripley. Additionally, the development will include a 20 MW battery storage component. The project is currently expected to start construction as early as 2022. Once constructed, the project will provide more than $20 million in tax revenues to the town of Ripley and Chautauqua County over the project’s operational life.

The proposal has been met by resistance from neighbors who have expressed concern about safety and the loss of farmland. They have urged the Chautauqua County Legislature to pass legislation discouraging the development to get any tax breaks in the form of Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreements. So far, the county has not proposed such legislation but it has discussed the topic in committee meetings.

This is the second REC purchase agreement that ConnectGen has signed to sell RECs that will be generated by the South Ripley Solar Project. In March 2020, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced a 20-year contract award for the Project through the agency’s 2019 solicitation for large-scale renewables.

Caton Fenz, CEO of ConnectGen said, “We are pleased to contract with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for the sale of renewable energy credits and to help them meet the state’s ambitious clean energy goals. This agreement, along with the NYSERDA award, show that there is a growing demand for renewable energy across the state of New York. We look forward to continuing to safely and responsibly develop the South Ripley Solar Project, which will both help New York State achieve 70 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and bring decades of economic benefits to the town of Ripley and Chautauqua County.”

“We are very satisfied to have reached a contractual agreement with ConnectGen,” stated Jamestown Board of Public Utilities General Manager David L. Leathers. “To have such a large-scale solar and storage project planned for construction in our County is extremely significant, and the Jamestown BPU is happy to be able to procure some of its required customer-funded REC’s from a local project.”

“This ten-year contract represents a modest commitment that increases our options of purchasing RECs under the New York State mandated renewable energy program and adds to the BPU’s existing portfolio, which is already over ninety percent clean, renewable energy,” continues Leathers. “We appreciate the efforts and professionalism of the ConnectGen team and look forward to the project becoming a reality in a few short years.”

ConnectGen LLC is a subsidiary of 547 Energy, Quantum Energy Partners’ clean energy platform company.

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