Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on June 10, 2021
The Genesee County Planning Department is recommending approval of a site plan review submitted by Plug Power Inc., the Latham-based company specializing in the development of hydrogen fuel cells systems for applications such as heavy-duty freight and forklifts. The referral is one of 15 on the agenda of the county planning board’s meeting scheduled for tonight. According to information provided to the planning department, the site plan to place the green hydrogen facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park includes three structures – an 8,000-square-foot operations and maintenance building, a 40,000-square-foot electrolyzer building and a 68,000-square-foot compressor building.
Hecate Energy has announced that it has filed an application with the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting to construct a 500-megawatt solar farm in the towns of Elba and Oakfield, representing the first new application to be submitted under the state’s new permitting process for large-scale renewable projects. If approved and constructed, the Cider Solar Farm would be the largest solar project ever built in New York State. The $500-plus million-dollar private infrastructure investment is expected to create over 500 construction jobs and will be capable of supplying 920,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year – enough to power more than 120,000 average New York households.
New York inches closer to lifting most COVID restrictions. Officials in Albany say the state’s 7-day average positivity rate has dropped below 0.50% for the first time since the onset of the COVID crisis. The new rate is 0.48%, the lowest in the nation according Johns Hopkins University. The state’s single-day positivity rate, 0.37%, is also the lowest single-day rate the state has seen since the onset of the crisis.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run will pass through Genesee County this morning as the Flame of Hope makes its way around the state in support of Special Olympics New York. The Torch Run is a time-honored Special Olympics tradition of more than 30 years, led and orchestrated by the “Guardians of the Flame,” which include more than 6,200 law enforcement personnel from more than 470 agencies throughout New York. Together with local athletes and supporters, Torch Run representatives raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York. More than 75 members of local law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes will participate. Torch runners will carry the Flame of Hope from the Sheriff’s Office to the Arc of Genesee Orleans. Participating agencies will include the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Jail, and Genesee County Probation Department. In 2019, this event raised nearly $20,000 to support Special Olympics New York athletes and programs in the Genesee Region.
Watkins Glen International has nominated for USA Today’s Best NASCAR Track for the fifth time in seven years. Watkins Glen International is among 10 tracks in the United States to be nominated.
The city of Buffalo is trending toward a new record…but it’s not one city officials want. Over the past six months, there have been 122 shootings and 39 homicides in the Queen City. If the pace continues, it could top the record in 1994.
Southern Tier state Senator George Borrello heralded the passage of Senate Bill 7028, which he co-sponsors, as a critical step forward in expanding access to broadband service in rural areas. The measure will ease cost and operational obstacles faced by broadband service providers seeking to build out infrastructure in rural and underserved areas of the state. One key provision of the bill would allow broadband providers seeking to install internet service via utility poles in a given area to obtain one contract for all the poles in that city, town or village, rather than being forced to get a contract for each individual pole, as is currently the case. Streamlining this process for providers will encourage more broadband development while also ensuring equitable service and access to the homes within a given municipality.