Schenectady County Solar Projects Save Taxpayers $200,000 While Avoiding 1,000 Tons of CO2 Emissions

Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski today announced that Schenectady County has saved over $200,000 through its solar program producing 1,752,852 kWh of electricity while avoiding over 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions as of January 31, 2017.

“This program continues Schenectady County’s efforts to be a leader in renewable energy and environmental conservation,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the County Legislature.  “We have saved more than $200,000 in electrical costs and avoided producing 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year, making county government more environmentally efficient and friendly and saving taxpayers money.”

The Schenectady County Solar Program began in 2013 with the placement of solar panel arrays on County owned building through a partnership with Monolith Solar.  Schenectady County receives a 30 percent discount through Monolith on all electricity produced by the solar panels.  The program has expanded to include additional facilities including a solar farm located at the Schenectady County Resident Recycling and Composting Facility on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville. 

The existing projects produce over 1.0 mW of electricity each year, more than 10 percent of the County’s current usage (see chart below).  The goal is to build out to be fully solar-powered, reducing total annual consumption by 50 percent to about 5mW of electricity, saving $650,000 annually for County government.

“Our Phase I solar accomplishments are impressive, but we know we can do more,” said Chairman Jasenski.  “In October this County Legislature adopted ambitious solar production and energy conservation goals of 100 percent energy independence by December 31, 2020.  We will continue to take every opportunity to achieve this goal”

In October 2016, the County legislature approved a resolution directing the County Manager to take steps toward achieving energy independence of the County of Schenectady to the extent practicable by 2020 by instituting new energy efficient programs such as installing LED lighting throughout the facilities of the County of Schenectady and by increasing the County’s reliance upon the use of solar-powered energy.

Schenectady County’s Phase II solar projects are now under development.  In November 2016 the County Legislature approved two additional solar projects - the Niskayuna Commerce Park Solar Farm and Rotterdam Burdeck Street Solar Farm - which will more than double the County’s solar production by adding 1,185,000 watts of power for a total of 2,275,400 watts of power produced.

"These resolutions set the bar high and were not just empty promises, as we are dedicated to leading the way on the use of clean energy in our county,” said Richard Ruzzo, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Technology.  “Immediately after setting our 2020 energy independence goals we set to work to find additional opportunities for energy efficiency and the use of clean solar energy.  I’m confident we will reach those goals by producing over 5mW of solar electric power and becoming near 100 percent energy independent over the next few years.”

Schenectady County’s Phase III Solar projects will soon be announced.

“The best is yet to come,” said Rory Fluman, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Intergovernmental Cooperation.  “We will soon be announcing a new Phase III solar project which will include partnering with our local governments to help them see energy efficiencies and savings, so stay tuned!”


Existing Schenectady county Phase I Solar Projects:

Solar Project
 
Size in
DC Watts

 
Operational
Date

 
Production as of
1-31-17 (kWh)

 
Expected Annual
Production (kWh
)
 
Hetcheltown Road 592,920 11-13-15 (1/3)
02-14-16 (2/3)
763,686 753,008
Business Center (Albany St.) 75,600 05-31-13 277,341 753,008
County Ice Rink
Rink Expansion
51,700
143,000
11-04-14
09-19-16
224,599
47,332
62,040
157,300
County Highway 51,700 01-04-14 220,220 59,455
Rotterdam Library 50,400 01-26-12 188,719 57,960
Bornt Branch Library 16,470 06-06-16 20,399 18,941
Total: 981,790 Watts   1,752,852 kWh 1,195,644 kWh

 


Bornt Branch Library and Literacy Center



Hetcheltown Road Solar Farm

 


 

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