The proposed solar facility is a 50-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) project to be built in the Town and Village of Coxsackie in Greene County, New York. It will consist of PV solar arrays, access roads, and electrical interconnection to the utility grid. (See “Where will the solar facility be located?” for map.)

Hecate Energy is proposing to build the Greene County Solar Facility. A developer of solar power plants, wind-power plants, and energy storage solutions, Hecate Energy has developed and contracted over 1,000 megawatts of solar projects across the US, including several projects in New York and the Northeast.

The solar facility will be built between Route 9 and Route 385 in the Town of Coxsackie, Greene County. The footprint of the solar panels and ancillary structure is expected to total approximately 395 acres.

It is expected to produce about 93,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year – enough to supply about 13,000 average New York state households (which is approximately 75% of Greene County’s 17,250 households).

  • Less only one-tenth of one percent of New York’s power generation can currently be provided by utility-scale solar (31.5 megawatts of a total 30,095 megawatts).[1]
  • More utility-scale solar is needed to meet New York’s clean energy standard, which requires 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
  • Large, utility-scale solar projects produce less expensive electricity than smaller, distributed installations.
  • Larger solar projects save an estimated 40 percent in building costs compared to smaller projects – savings that reduce the price of the electricity they produce.[2]
  • Utility-scale projects, such as this one, employ tracking technology that follows the sun’s path to optimize the amount of electricity they produce.
  • Grid-connected utility-scale projects can provide electricity consumers, local utilities and power system operators with inexpensive solar energy – during high-cost summer peak demand.

[2] Utility-Scale Solar: The Path to High-Value, Cost-Competitive Projects, Smart Electric Power Alliance, April 2016. (

  • This project will offer the community new, long-term dedicated revenue for schools and local government. It will generate municipal revenues in its first year of operation.
  • The project will also create a new, dedicated revenue stream for the local fire department, ambulance service and library, supporting their missions while placing few demands on their services.
  • In addition, economic activity created during construction and operations will benefit local building trades, restaurants, lodging, gas stations, and stores.

  • This project will help sustain a family farm for the next generation.
  • As we develop solar facilities, we work to preserve soil resources with an eye toward returning the land to agricultural use in the future.
  • Solar facilities are among the least disruptive of any electricity-producing technologies. This project’s impact on the soil will be limited to the spots where steel beams are driven into the ground to support the solar panel arrays and small concrete pads used to hold inverter stations and transformers. As a result, the land used by the solar facility can be returned to full agricultural production after the planned life of the project.
  • By providing a productive, low-impact use for the land, the solar facility also prevents the land from being sold for much higher impact uses such as residential development which creates major impacts on schools, roads, utilities, municipal services and watersheds.

  • Vegetation management will primarily be done with periodic mowing and trimming. Little or no chemical vegetation control is planned. If any is used, it will be far less than farms or golf courses typically use.
  • Hecate is also exploring the incorporation of animal grazing, pollinator-friendly vegetation, and other co-development opportunities.

The emission-free electricity produced by the solar farm will offset over 50,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year -- equivalent to taking over 9,700 average cars off the road.

  • Solar facilities are great neighbors. They operate quietly without emissions or water discharges and help to preserve open space.
  • We are working with the community to explore co-development opportunities that promote the character of the local community -- consistent with local comprehensive planning goals.
  • We are also looking at conservation easements and innovative farming approaches to preserve agriculture resources.
  • Community impacts will be rigorously studied in the siting process administered by New York State in conjunction with local stakeholders. Issues pertaining to community, wildlife or wetland impacts will need to be addressed as part of this comprehensive process.
  • The community is highly encouraged to participate in this process (See How can I participate? below).

  • As part of the comprehensive environmental assessment, we will evaluate the potential visual impacts of the project from a variety of locations surrounding the site. Closer views, (e.g. across the road) can be mitigated with vegetative screening. More distant viewshed impacts will be assessed with digital topography analyses.

  • Proximity to solar facility has not been demonstrated to decrease property values.
  • Studies examining the property values of residential homes located near or with views of wind facilities have not found that home values are positively or negatively affected by wind facilities, which have more significant potential impacts than solar facilities.[i]

[i] Hoen, B., Wiser, R., & Cappers, P. (2013). A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States. Berkeley: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. ( and Hoen, B., & Atkinson-Palombo, C. (2014). Relationship between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts. Berkeley: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; University of Connecticut. (

  • The electric energy produced by the Greene County Solar Facility will be injected into Central Hudson’s Coxsackie-Athens 69kV transmission line and the Coxsackie substation. The electricity will flow to the nearest local points of demand. So, it is likely that most of the energy generated will flow to local consumers.

  • Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are largely associated with high voltage transmission lines and are not an issue with solar facilities.
  • EMF occurs in all electrical equipment, including household appliances (televisions, microwaves, toasters, etc.) Solar facilities generate EMF comparable to household appliances.
  • Health-related EMF issues have been extensively studied in peer reviewed publications and no links have been found between EMF and human health.

The solar tracking arrays are built to robust ASCE engineering standards.  In the event of extreme weather and high winds, operational procedures will be implemented to stow the trackers in a direction to best withstand high winds.

  • Solar panel manufacturers provide 25-year warranties for their product and solar panels have been shown to outperform their warranties. This solar facility is expected to have a useful life of 25-35 years. 
  • This long-lasting technology is being deployed with the expectation that it will provide significant and sustainable benefit to the local community and electricity customers for decades.
  • The project’s economics provide assurance of its long-term operation. Most of the project costs are incurred in developing, siting, and building the facility. Once the solar facility is up and running, maintenance costs are relatively minor. To recover start-up costs and earn a profit requires that the facility produce power for the full term of the 25-35 years of its planned life.
  • Solar-produced electricity is increasingly competitive in power markets, so it is expected to become one of the lowest priced electric generation sources. After its planned life, the technology could be updated, or the site returned to agricultural use, depending on the wishes of the landowner.

  • The project’s decommissioning plan, an integral part of the permitting process, will ensure the property is returned to its original condition without affecting taxpayers.

  • It will be configured as a ground-mounted solar facility with PV panels on galvanized steel tracker racking structures.  It will include rows of single-axis trackers, oriented in a north-south direction, that rotate the PV panels from east to west following the sun’s daily path. 
  • The tracker structure is low-profile -- about 8 feet high above grade at the tallest point. We will design and install the project with utility-standard safeguards.
  • The solar panels planned for this project are the crystalline type commonly used for rooftop residential systems. They contain the same materials (glass, aluminum, plastic) used in many household products.

  • Solar panels are non-hazardous and have been deployed in over 1 million residential home across the United States.
  • The PV technology planned for deployment on this solar facility has been in use and continually refined since it was invented in 1954.
  • Over 53,000 MW is currently installed in the US.  Solar projects accounted for 30% of all new electricity generation built in the US in 2017.[i]

[i] Solar Industry Research Data, Solar Energy Industries Association (

  • PV panels use the sun’s energy to produce direct current (DC) electricity that flows to on-site electrical inverters that turn DC electricity to alternating current AC electricity, which then flows to the electrical grid for consumers to use. (See illustration below.)

Hecate Energy is working to ensure that development, construction, and operation of the Greene County Solar Facility benefits the community and the environment. We refine our project design based on community feedback. We encourage the public to provide feedback on how we may potentially improve our project concept by participating in one of the following ways:

  • Contact us directly
  • Attend our open house meetings. Please see our website (https:/ for the schedule.
  • Request a project briefing for your group or organization 
  • Contact the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS), which has a “Public Information Coordinator” to assist and advise interested parties.
    • Toll-free Opinion Line: (800) 355-2120
    • Email:
    • Or contact
      Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary of the Siting Board
      New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment
      3 Empire State Plaza
      Albany, NY 12223-1350
    • Visit: