SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Mayor Gary McCarthy announced that the Schenectady City Council has authorized the sale of surplus land to Active Solar Development for $500,000. The surplus land is located in the town of Rotterdam. The land was acquired by the City decades ago for a possible water tower, which is no longer needed by the City Water Department.
“I was pleased to present this proposal to the City Council for approval,” Mayor McCarthy said. “During the pandemic we have considered every option at our disposal to reduce costs and save money. For non-performing assets like this surplus land, the disposal of these assets is a benefit to city taxpayers.”
Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and Schenectady County Legislator Richard Ruzzo helped to identify the site for sale and line up potential buyers. Ruzzo chairs the Capital Region Land Bank which is administered by Metroplex. Both the Land Bank and Metroplex work closely with the City on the sale of surplus properties.
“As Chair of the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee, I am excited to see this land sale go through,” said City Councilmember Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas. “Not only does the sale generate much-needed revenue for the City, the land’s use as a solar development project advances the sustainability goals of Schenectady’s Smart Cities initiative. It’s a win-win for City taxpayers AND our environment.”
Active Solar Development sites, designs and installs efficient solar power systems. The company has completed over 300 solar projects, totaling 75+ megawatts of installed capacity to date. Local projects include completed installations at the Solara Apartments (Rotterdam), the Regeneron Pharmaceutical Campus (East Greenbush), and a 6MW project in the Village of Scotia.
The topography of the City-owned site – located off of Gordon Road in Rotterdam – is hilly and landlocked with no road access, making it unsuitable for other types of development. However, the site works well for solar and is close to major transmission lines, Mayor McCarthy noted.
Active Solar will provide the City with a non-refundable $10,000 deposit and pursue approvals for the project with a closing on the land anticipated in late 2021.