(SCHENECTADY, NY) – Winter weather may be upon us, but the sun will still shine brightly for Schenectady County taxpayers as the County Legislature is scheduled to vote on the expansion of the County’s Solar Panel energy project resulting in more savings on the County government’s electric bill.
The Legislature will vote during a special meeting on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 to approve phase one of an agreement between the County and Monolith Solar Associates that will place ground mounted solar panels on 3 acres of County owned land at the Schenectady County Compost Facility and Resident Recycling Center on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville. Phase one will generate 603.9kW of solar energy, more than double what is currently being generated by solar panels previously approved and installed at the County Recreation Facility, Rotterdam Branch Library, and County Business Center. Additional locations will be identified for future expansions of the program. 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.
“Congratulations to our Schenectady County team for once again finding ways to provide a more efficient government to our taxpayers while increasing our use of renewable energy,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.
Schenectady County has received approval from NYSERDA to expand to 2.2mW of solar power after completion of the first phase of the solar plan. Additionally, Schenectady County has applications pending for a full 5mW of solar power. When fully completed, the 5mW of power will generate $300,000+ in savings for the County annually, with 2/3rds of the County’s energy coming from solar. Over a twenty year period the County would save over $6 million from the full 5mW solar plan. The 5mW will also reduce the County’s CO2 emissions by 759,000 lbs. each year.
“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 our families into the future,” said Jeff McDonald, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Facilities.
This “green” 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 Battery Plant to Schenectady County, creating more than a thousand new jobs, while developing the next generation of renewable energy products right here in Schenectady County.
Other green 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.