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Former landfill sites in Yates to be leased for solar developments

Two major solar energy projects are coming to former landfilling sites in Yates County, according to officials.

Yates County, New York and BQ Energy Development signed a 35-year land lease for two capped landfill properties within Yates County that will allow for the installation of up to 37 MW of solar photovoltaic arrays on the surface of the landfills. The projects could operate by late 2021 and combined would be among the largest installations of solar energy on landfill properties in New York.

Once the full build out of the projects is completed, Yates County would receive almost $200,000 in annual rent plus additional benefits in reduced price electric power sales.

BQ Energy was selected as the result of a 2019 Request for Proposal issued by Yates County based upon both economic benefit and overall qualifications and approach to development of the two projects. Now that the Lease has been signed and approved by the Yates County Legislature, BQ Energy will begin to finalize design work, begin electrical interconnection studies with NYSEG, and also begin to consult with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation regarding permit matters.

The capped landfill properties are in the Town of Torrey (off Longpoint Road) and the Town of Potter (off Hagerty Road). Each site will require normal appropriate coordination with the towns and communities. The solar project designs will involve the use of above ground ballast block foundations to maintain the environmental integrity of the capped landfills.

Commenting on the projects, Yates County Administrator Winona Flynn indicates “Yates County is thrilled to have this come to fruition. Joe Reed, our Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds began the investigation of the feasibility of solar facilities on County landfills over a year and a half ago. The experience and professionalism that BQ Energy has exhibited throughout this process made them the most logical choice for us. The revenue and savings benefit of this project to our County is substantial.”

Yates County Legislator and Chair of Public Works, Dan Banach adds “This is a great use of land that was deemed non-usable for years and we were able to turn it into something so positive for our County.”

“Yates County deserves a great deal of credit for having the vision to initiate this development” added Jim Falsetti, Director of BQ Energy Development. “These landfill properties have been large dead sites for decades. By proactively seeking to move these long-term environmentally friendly projects forward, Yates County will bring both economic and environmental benefits to the community for decades to come. BQ Energy has safely constructed and operated many landfill solar projects in New York State, and we look forward to working with the Yates County communities on these exciting and innovative projects.”