Guide to Boost Clean Energy Development and Protect Natural Assets Important for Quality of Life and Economy

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 -- Scenic Hudson
Contact: 

Jay Burgess
Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740
jburgess@scenichudson.org

Publication to debut as handout at 3/27 Solar Smart Hudson Valley symposium

HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y.—The Hudson Valley can be a clean energy leader and create new jobs, reliable and affordable energy, and shape healthier, stronger communities. But building new energy systems the wrong way could damage the resources and natural beauty that make the region a great place to live, work and visit. Driven by increasing climate change impacts on property, businesses and communities, New York is rapidly transitioning the state’s energy supply away from major fossil-fuel power plants and long-distance transmission. Just in time, Scenic Hudson is publishing a guide to help maximize the valley’s clean energy potential while preserving the farms, natural resources and outdoor beauty that define and differentiate the region.

Scenic Hudson’s Clean Energy, Green Communities: A Guide to Siting Renewable Energy in the Hudson Valley is intended for citizens, community groups, environmental organizations, land trusts, local conservation advisory commissions as well as municipal boards, regional planning groups, energy developers and other stakeholders. The 28-page guide aims to reduce conflicts from the start and encourage collaboration to accelerate clean energy capacity in the area.

Guide to be handed out at solar energy symposium on March 27

All 150 attendees expected for the Tuesday, March 27, Solar Smart Hudson Valley symposium will receive the publication. A limited number of tickets are still available (at www.scenichudson.org/renewables—$25, with vouchers available for municipal officials) for the event, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. Following the event, copies may be downloaded at www.scenichudson.org/renewables.

Guide to help developers succeed

To reach its objectives, the state is providing incentives for clean energy projects. Developers will pursue approvals for facilities, including large-scale solar and wind facilities. Community opposition could cause delays, increase costs and even force project abandonment. Scenic Hudson’s new guide will help developers better understand community concerns and sensitivity to local values so they can engage the public positively to more efficiently gain construction approvals.

Communities can benefit from the guide

Proper design, construction and operation of renewable energy facilities can avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts to important natural resources. Communities and citizens can support clean energy while not compromising farms, scenic beauty, outdoor areas and a healthy environment. Projects can be directed to former industrial sites, closed landfills, developed areas or other places that don’t present conflicts. The guide recently published by Scenic Hudson has specific recommendations for how to address renewable energy in comprehensive plans and zoning laws. There also are regional approaches to identifying areas suitable for clean energy projects.

Scenic Hudson’s new guide was developed with best practices and insights from developers, conservationists, energy authorities, land use attorneys and its own in-house experts. A resource section identifies online, GIS and other information sources.

Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President Steve Rosenberg said, “The Hudson Valley’s economy and the vitality of its communities are linked strongly to the Hudson River and other natural infrastructure. Significant efforts have gone into protecting and building up these strengths, and clean energy is crucial to ensuring they are not blighted by climate impacts. The Hudson Valley has an important role to play in building the state’s energy future and our new guide will help stakeholders get it right from the start so all benefit from innovative energy and mitigated climate change.”

About Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson helps citizens and communities preserve land and farms and create parks where people experience the outdoors and enjoy the Hudson River. We also bring together people, businesses and government to protect the river and natural resources that are the engines of the valley’s local economies. Started in 1963 by a handful of citizens who cherished the simple pleasures of the outdoors along the Hudson, Scenic Hudson is credited with launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today, in the face of new challenges and the effects of climate change, we are dedicated to making the Hudson Valley a great place to live, work and play. Our focus is on strengthening and maximizing benefits all can enjoy from the region’s great assets—beautiful open spaces, working farms, and vibrant cities and town centers.

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