Rutland Center Solar Project
About the Project
New Leaf Energy is working with landowners and the communities of Rutland and Watertown to develop a proposed 110 megawatt (MW) solar project. In addition to bringing local benefits such as jobs, tax revenue, and support for agriculture in Jefferson County, the project is expected to produce enough domestically-generated renewable energy to power more than 18,000 New York households.
As one of the most trusted solar developers in NY State, we are committed to honest and open communication with your community, and we welcome your questions and questions and comments.
New Leaf Energy held two in-person open house-style meetings with community members at the Watertown Fire Department Reception Hall on April 7 and a virtual open house on Zoom on April 8.
To view news stories about the in-person open houses, click here.
Benefits for Rutland & Watertown
Local tax revenue: Municipal services including the town, county, and school districts all benefit from the millions of dollars in increased tax revenue from the project, all of which is negotiated as part of the permitting process.
Jobs: The Rutland Center Solar project is expected to create 200+ jobs during the 18-month construction phase, and 2+ full-time jobs during operations. Strategic partnership with local labor unions will provide members with jobs in and around the communities in which they live.
Agricultural development: The project provides income to support local agriculture.
Local materials: We make our best effort to locally source concrete, gravel, and other materials for the project.
Indirect benefits: Aside from the direct benefits of local employment and spending, the community would see increased spending at local businesses during the construction phase.
Support for New York’s Clean Energy goals: Rutland Center Solar also supports the state’s goals to reach 70% renewable energy generation by 2030 and zero-emissions electricity by 2040.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar
We know you may have questions about utility scale solar. We’ve answered some common questions here and if you have any other specific questions, please fill out this form and a member of our team will get back to you. For any other general information about solar, check out one of the best sources of fact-checked information we’ve seen.
Are solar projects safe?
Yes. Panels are made of solid materials and do not present any chemical hazards to people, underlying soil, or groundwater. For decades, communities have been safely living and working around solar projects without issues. They do not create any greenhouse gases or other air pollutants or waste by-products.
How is this project going to benefit me?
Communities benefit with the potential for millions of dollars in added tax revenue dollars and jobs during construction. Funds generated through a solar project can help breathe new life into schools, road infrastructure and essential services like emergency response system upgrades. The project will deliver these economic benefits without making additional demands or impact on community services.
How do solar projects impact property values?
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar farms do not typically impact property values. Several other studies conducted in the United States reveal similar results on adjacent property values. SEIA also cites cases that have had positive impacts. Read more here.
How long do solar projects operate?
We expect Rutland Center Solar to operate for up to 30 years.
How long will construction take?
We estimate that the construction will take between 11 to 18 months. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sundays and national holidays. Project component deliveries may occur during extended hours on an as-needed basis, and the extended hours would be coordinated with the Town of Watertown, Town of Rutland, and Jefferson County.
What happens at the end of the system’s life?
The solar farm will be decommissioned at the end of its life. The Rutland Center Solar Project plans to operate for up to 30 years. Before beginning construction, New York State’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) will require the Project to submit a decommissioning plan and post a decommissioning bond or letter of credit before construction begins.
New Leaf Energy is dedicated to engaging the local community and landowners. The Rutland Center Solar project is being permitted under a state-level process called 94-c which is a comprehensive review that provides many opportunities for public input and involvement. More information on the 94-c process can be found on New York’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) website.
Throughout the permitting process, New Leaf Energy will be hosting informational open houses. New Leaf Energy experts will provide information about the project, the studies being conducted, interactions with state and local officials, and details regarding 94-c permitting process, including the anticipated application date and information regarding the future availability of local agency and community intervenor funds. Press releases, videos and other materials from the open houses will be posted on this website as they become available.
Read about our in-person open houses at the Watertown Fire Department Reception Hall on April 7 and 8:
Intervenor fund requests will be due within 30 days of the date the application is filed and information about how to seek funds will be provided. For more information about intervenor funds, click here.
Project Document Repositories
While information pertaining to Rutland Center Solar will be continually updated on this website, New Leaf Energy will maintain hard copies of submitted application materials at the following locations for those who may not have access to the website or prefer to review hard copies:
- In the town of Rutland, at the Rutland Town Hall and the Sally Ploof Hunter Memorial Library
- In the town of Watertown, at the Watertown Town Hall and Evans Mills Public Library
About New Leaf Energy
New Leaf Energy was born from the development arm of Borrego, an industry leading solar and storage pioneer with decades of experience developing and delivering hundreds of successful clean energy projects across the U.S. As we did at Borrego, our team works alongside landowners, AHJs, system owners, and local utilities to develop mutually beneficially renewable energy projects while protecting sensitive land, creating jobs, and furthering the national effort towards decarbonization.
Click here to learn why hundreds of landowners and communities have trusted New Leaf with their solar projects over the years.
If you have comments or questions about the project, please contact us.
If your comment includes a question or a request for more information, we will be in touch soon.