Schenectady County Expands Renewable Energy Program and Officially Opens Second County Solar Farm
Schenectady County officials were joined today by representatives from Monolith Solar to formally open the new three acres solar farm that was installed on County-owned property in the Town of Niskayuna.
“Schenectady County is proud to open this new facility that continues the County’s effort to save taxpayers money through a more efficient government while increasing our use of renewable energy,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.
The new solar farm is comprised of ground-mounted solar panels and is expected to generate 792,480 kWh of solar energy and bring Schenectady County’s total solar production to nearly 2,000,000 kWh. Schenectady County previously opened a three acre solar farm at the Schenectady County Compost and Resident Recycling Facility in Glenville and installed solar panels at the County Recreation Facility, Rotterdam and Bornt Branch Libraries, County Highway Facility, and the County Business Center.
“This past October, the County Legislature committed itself to reaching 100 percent energy independence by December 31, 2020,” said Rory Fluman, Vice Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Environmental Conservation, Renewable Energy & Parks. “With the opening of this facility and the soon to open Burdeck Street and Wedgewood Heights solar farms, Schenectady County will be more than half way to our goal.”
Schenectady County will receive a 30-percent discount on all electricity produced by the solar panels, which will be installed by Monolith at no cost to the County. All of the electricity generated from the solar farm will produce monetary credits that will significantly offset the electric cost to Schenectady County facilities including
The project is expected to save the County more than $20,000 in the first full year and more than $400,000 over twenty years.
“Not only will we save on our electric bills benefiting our taxpayers, but we’ll continue our efforts to be environmentally responsible and leave Schenectady County a better place for future generations,” continued Legislator Fluman.
The new solar farm represents the second phase of a multi-megawatt solar farm initiative that the county has partnered with Monolith Solar to implement. Phase I projects included the County’s first solar farm on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville 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. These projects annually produce 1,180,765 kWh of electricity and since installation have produced 2,124,678 kWh of electricity while avoiding over 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions (as of May 31, 2017). Additional Phase II solar projects are now under development and include the Rotterdam Burdeck Street Solar Farm and Wedgewood Heights Solar Farm. When completed by the end of summer, Schenectady County will produce 3,500,000 kWh of power annually – enough to power 60 percent of all County facilities.
“Schenectady County is among our oldest and most valued partners,” said Mark Fobare, CEO and co-founder of Monolith. “By consistently choosing to invest in solar energy, the County sets a high standard in New York State for its commitment to a greener future. Monolith looks forward to developing this relationship further to make Schenectady County the first to power itself entirely through renewables. Its leadership on solar energy is not just good for the planet, but for its taxpayers as well!”
The technology implemented at this location is a solar photovoltaic system, which generates clean, reliable electricity from the sun’s light. The primary components are a series of solar panels, which are wired into inverters that turn the DC power generated into AC power for connection into the utility network.
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