Schenectady County Goes Solar

Solar Photovoltaic System to be installed on County Buildings

October 31, 2011

Schenectady, N.Y. — Schenectady County Legislator Jeff McDonald, Chair of the Legislature’s Public Facilities Committee, has introduced legislation that will authorize an agreement with Monolith Solar, LLC and NYSERDA to install and maintain a Solar Photovoltaic (Solar PV) System on County Buildings.  In return, Schenectady County will purchase the electricity generated at a 30 percent discount to our regular electric rate.

“Schenectady County can go solar at no expense to taxpayers,” said Mr. McDonald.  “This continues our efforts to provide a more efficient government to taxpayers while increasing our use of renewable energy.”

Schenectady County is partnering with Monolith Solar, LLC which will install up to 50 kW systems on ten County owned or operated buildings including the County Jail, Highway Department, Recreation Center, SCCC Science Building, Human Services Building, and the Schenectady County Library Central, Rotterdam, Woodlawn Duanesburg and Niskayuna Branches.  Other Solar businesses are currently only installing 25 kW systems as part of their public initiatives, so Monolith Solar is providing double the solar capacity of its competitors which can double the County’s savings.

With no capital investment, Schenectady County will conservatively save $20,000 per year on its electricity costs.  Schenectady County’s electric rates are based on the highest one hour peak demand, so the County will also work to lower its peak demand which will lower its rates and significantly increase its savings.Mr. McDonald continued, “Schenectady County will not only save on our electric bill, but we’ll continue our efforts to be environmentally responsible and continue to make Schenectady County a better place for the future.”

This initiative is another effort by the County Legislature to position Schenectady County as a leader in renewable energy.  These efforts helped to attract GE’s Renewable Energy Headquarters and new Battery Plant to Schenectady County, which will create more than a thousand new jobs in the years ahead, while developing the next generation of renewable energy products in Schenectady County.

Schenectady County also uses “smart growth” strategies in the County’s unified economic development efforts that have led to the successful clean-up of several brownfield sites including the Burgess Tank Farm, the Big N Plaza and Campbell Plastics.

Other green energy initiatives aimed at making Schenectady County a leader in energy conservation include purchasing Energy Star rated products, promoting Home Energy Audits in partnership with NYSERDA, establishing an improved recycling policy throughout all county facilities, creating an employee initiative for energy conservation, and lowering building temperatures and reducing hot water settings.

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Joe McQueen
(518) 388-4772

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