County Solar Energy Consortium Announces Partnership with GE to Develop a Network of Solar Farms throughout the County

County Solar Initiative

 

Members of the Schenectady County Legislature joined today with local municipal leaders and GE to announce the largest and most ambitious municipal solar project in New York State.

“Today, I am extremely proud to announce that Schenectady County and the Schenectady County Solar Energy Consortium will be partnering with GE to develop and build a network of solar farms that if fully implemented will generate up to 45 megawatts of solar energy capacity throughout Schenectady County,” said Legislator Rory Fluman, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Intergovernmental Cooperation. “Schenectady County is again leading the way in renewable energy that is saving taxpayer dollars.”

“We are proud to have been chosen by Schenectady County in a competitive process to build and operate this transformational solar project,” said Erik Schiemann, General Manager of Solar Development at GE.  “GE has been in the power generation business for 125 years and has made renewable energy a cornerstone of its business, with major investments in wind energy, hydro energy and now through our solar development business.  We look forward to working in partnership with Schenectady County and the Schenectady County Solar Energy Consortium to deliver these comprehensive and well-coordinated solar energy solutions.”

The County Solar Energy Consortium grew out of the County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan required by the 2017-2018 New York State budget.  The plan was unanimously approved by the County and each of the eight county municipalities in August of 2017.

The solar farms will be built by GE at no expense to County taxpayers.  If fully developed, this project could save County, Town, City and Village taxpayers approximately $1.5 million each year, and $44 million over 25 years.

“The County Legislature has committed itself to reaching 100 percent energy independence by December 31, 2020 and assisting our local municipalities reach this goal by December 31, 2021,” said  Holly Vellano, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Environmental Conservation, Renewable Energy & Parks. “This initiative continues Schenectady County’s efforts to be a leader in renewable energy by partnering with our local governments to expand our solar production which will reduce emissions and protect the environment for future generations.”

As part of the shared-services plan, each municipal land owner volunteered potential sites to be evaluated as part of the solar consortium RFP process, and each municipal land owner has the final say as to whether or not its site will be utilized.

Schenectady County currently has numerous solar projects producing nearly 5mW of power annually, enough to power approximately sixty percent of all County facilities.  Projects include solar farms on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville, Hillside Business Park in Niskayuna, an Burdeck Street and Wedgewood Heights Solar Farm in Rotterdam,  along with roof top solar installations at the County Recreation Center and Ice Rink, highway garage, Rotterdam Branch Library, Phyllis Bornt Branch Library and Literacy Center, and the Schenectady County Business Center.

Proposed Consortium Solar Park Sites:

County of Schenectady  2 sites   6.0 MW
City of Schenectady 2 sites 4.5 MW
Town of Rotterdam 5 sites 11.0 MW
Town of Niskayuna 1 site  1.5 MW
Town of Glenville 3 sites 11.5 MW
Village of Delanson 4 sites 8.0 MW
Town of Duanesburg 1 site 3.5 MW
Total Project Potential: 18 sites  46.0 MW