Yates Co. Legislature unanimously supports Greenidge

Staff Reports

13-0 Vote by County Legislature Urges State to Renew Facility’s Existing Title V Permit

Yates County Legislature

DRESDEN – By a vote of 13-0 with one abstention, the Yates County Legislature passed a resolution Tuesday, Oct. 12, recognizing the  positive economic contributions of Greenidge Generation and calling upon the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to renew the facility’s existing Title V Air Permit, citing its longstanding environmental stewardship.

Greenidge Generation CEO Dale Irwin issued the following statement:

“The people of Yates County know firsthand that Greenidge is an overwhelming success story for the State of New York. The facts speak for themselves; Greenidge is already a leader in environmental stewardship as we’ve eliminated coal, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 70%, send clean power to the Grid to support homes and businesses Upstate and operate a 100% fully carbon neutral Bitcoin mining operation.

"Our facility is an anchor for the Finger Lakes economy. Our tax payments, supporting Yates County schools, families, and businesses, are growing significantly, and we are creating high tech jobs that pay more than double the average wage. Because of our record, we have the strong support of the IBEW Local 840 with whom we’ve partnered to transform Greenidge and of businesses large and small across Upstate New York.

"Yates County knows that the opposition to Greenidge has been around for years. [The opponents] have lost every court case they’ve brought, and they have been rejected by local government time and time again. We operate entirely within our permits and are not seeking to expand our power generation at all. We appreciate the County’s strong, ongoing support.”

The last operational generator of the original four at Greenidge power plant.

The resolution passed  by the Yates County Legislature. 

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF GREENIDGE GENERATION LLC

WHEREAS, Greenidge Generation LLC (Greenidge) provides needed electrical generation to the public and has made a significant investment in the Finger Lakes Region; and

WHEREAS, Greenidge has created and filled forty five (45) high paying jobs in Yates County and contributes a significant amount of tax revenue to Yates County; the 2020 average wage at Greenidge was $77,565; and WHEREAS, in 2016, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency carefully and thoroughly reviewed potential impacts of renewed generation and determined there would be no significant environmental impacts in the generating plant operating full time at 106 Megawatts electricity produced; and

WHEREAS, Greenidge acquired the idled coal fired plant which had been in place in the Town of Torrey since 1937, and converted it to a clean, natural gas fired generating plant and resumed operations in 2017; and

WHEREAS, Greenidge operates the plant in full compliance with existing air and water permits issued by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Greenidge’s cryptocurrency mining operation onsite is a 100% carbon neutral operation; and

WHEREAS, since resuming operation in 2017 Greenidge has made a significant contribution to the economy of Yates County. The growing tax payments to the Town of Torrey, Penn Yan Central School, and Yates County significantly offset real property taxes. Directly due to its data processing center, local tax payments increased in 2020 by almost $300,000 and are anticipated to increase significantly in further years; and

WHEREAS, a recent study by Appleseed Inc. stated that “we estimate Greenidge’s combined operations and capital investments in 2020 directly and indirectly supported 108 jobs in NY with total earnings of nearly $8.4 million and nearly $16.8 million in statewide impact;” and

WHEREAS, in 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenidge supported over 80 businesses in NY. As a result of environmental leadership and positive economic impact, there is widespread support for Greenidge. Several large employers have publicly supported Greenidge including O’Connell Electric, City Hill Construction, and Hunt Engineers. In addition there is solid support from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), whose workers are partnering with Greenidge onsite in Dresden;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Yates County Legislature supports Greenidge Generation LLC and is in favor of renewing the Title V air permits; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be given to Governor Hochul, Commissioner of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Seggos, NYS Senator Tom O’Mara, NYS Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, US Senator Charles Schumer, US Senator Kirsten Gillebrand, US Congressman Tom Reed, the NY State Association of Counties and any other person/entity deemed necessary.