New York Policy Guide
“To encourage novel co-use, dual-use, agriphotovoltaics, agrisolar, and/or agrivoltaic activities in the development of renewable energy projects. To promote a balanced approach between renewable energy siting and other New York State policies, goals, and objectives.”
Provide criteria for developers to consider in the siting and design of projects that minimize impacts to natural and environmental resources during all phases of the project (design, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning).
Avoid sensitive or protected land, minimize solar project impacts to agricultural and environmental resources, and provide community benefits.
“The submission of a complete Smart Solar Siting Scorecard (Scorecard) for each Bid Facility is mandatory under the Request for Proposals.” Featuring two broad categories – “Agricultural Protection” and “Environmental Protection – Forested Lands” – proposers pursue points through commitment to “Avoidance” and “Minimization” strategies. Some strategies are mandatory and do not accrue points. No partial points are awarded.
Part I Proposal:
Use the Scorecard’s Agricultural Avoidance Flow Chart to determine the Agriculture Avoidance Score (maximum of 50 points). Complete checklist of strategies relevant to Score.
Proposer must address all strategies listed – both mandatory and optional – to calculate the Agriculture Minimization Score (maximum of 45 points).
Strategies that must be addressed include but are not limited to: Land Use and Operations (soil conservation, project landscaping and infrastructure, monitoring, maintenance, and operations), Co-utilization (pollinators and apiaries, crop(s) production, grazing).
Part II Proposal:
Use the Scorecard’s Environmental Avoidance Flow Chart to determine the Environmental Avoidance Score (maximum of 30 points). Complete checklist of strategies relevant to Score.
Proposer must address all strategies listed – both mandatory and optional – to calculate the Forested Lands Minimization Score (maximum of 10 points).
Strategies that must be addressed include but are not limited to: Environmental Protection (carbon storage, wildlife, and wildlife habitat, and soils).
Developed and administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Bid preference. The Smart Solar Siting Scorecard is used to score projects submitted to the Step Two Bid Proposal process – projects that pledge to meet multiple beneficial objectives earn more points and are thus evaluated more favorably in NYSERDA’s RFP process.
The project developer must hire or designate an Environmental Monitor to supervise construction, restoration, and monitoring in agricultural areas and interface with New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). On-site monitoring of agricultural and environmental commitments must be completed at least three times during the growing season (spring, summer, fall).
“Agrivoltaics shall mean the simultaneous use of areas of land for both solar photovoltaic power generation and agriculture including the co-location of solar photovoltaic panels and production of crops and/or animal farming such as grazing on the same property.”
Proposers may pursue extra credit points for Community Benefits and Collaboration (maximum 25 points), as well as Innovation in practice or design (maximum 5 points).
RESRFI22-1 Appendix 2. RESRFP22-1 Smart Solar Siting Scorecard
New York State Senate Bill S7861A
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Guidelines for Solar Energy Projects – Construction Mitigation for Agricultural Lands