The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has announced that the Southern Tier may play host to a site for renewable energy development.

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According to a press release from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, following a resolution passed by the Tompkins County Legislature, the Southern Tier site would be located in the Town of Dryden. Tompkins County nominated the Caswell Road Landfill as a site for participation in the Build-Ready Program.

"The potential to generate solar energy from the Caswell Road site is huge," said Chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature, Shawna Black. "Tomkins County has aggressive goals on being a net-zero organization, generating electricity from solar on otherwise dormant land is a great opportunity."

The 112 acre site would host a large-scale renewable solar energy project on the capped landfill and help Tompkins County pivot from grid-supplied electricity to local, renewable energy generation.

"The Town of Dryden is looking forward to participating in the review of this project," said Town of Dryden Supervisor Jason Leifer. "Transforming this brownfield to a beneficial use would be in the community's best interest. The Town of Dryden is already host to renewable energy projects that collectively produce approximately 33 megawatts of power. Using brownfields for this purpose is preferable to using farmland."

The project represents a key step for the Southern Tier in helping New York State achieve its ambitious renewable energy plan to have 70 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.

The memorandum of understanding between Tompkins County and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will allow the organization to conduct research and engage with the community regarding the renewable energy site.

The other site announced by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority would be similarly be located at a landfill in Orange County.

"The County is continually looking for ways to save energy and better serve the interest of the public," said Orange County Executive Stefan Neuhaus. "This project will help further the county's energy efficiency initiatives.

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