Solar energy project in Cortland in line to begin next year

(Photo provided by Pexels).

The solar energy generation project proposed on South Pendleton Street in Cortland is making headway with the city’s land use permitting process.

The project, developed by Davis Hill Development, will occupy a 10-acre section of the 18.6-acre site at 136 S. Pendleton St. Tory Hanna, the company’s vice president of business development and origination, said the project will power approximately 400 homes.

“What individuals can benefit from if they decide to subscribe to this project is basically 10% off their electric bill,” Hanna said.

Hanna said it’s expected that the project to be operational by autumn 2024. 

A rendering of the solar energy project proposed for city of Cortland. (Photo provided by Davis Hill Development).

“We will probably start construction in the springtime,” Hanna said. “Maybe May 2024. The construction is pretty quick. It'd be like a two to three month process. After that comes the witness testing from (National Grid), where they do tests on the system before we can actually turn the switch on. They do thorough testing.”

For now, the project will undergo the city’s land use permitting process, which includes a review through the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. 

“We hope to have that cleared by December or January,” Hanna said. 

Hanna noted that development would apply for financial incentives for this project through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA offers two incentives, Hanna added.

One awards developers 15 cents per watt of energy generated. The other one also awards 15 cents per watt generated for sites occupying a brownfield. 

“The project generates 2.8 megawatts of power, which is pretty substantial,” Hanna said.

The city planning board voted Monday to designate the city of Cortland as lead agency on the project. The project will return in front of the planning board at its meeting this month.