Schenectady County Expands Renewable Energy Program and Officially Opens New Solar Farm

Schenectady County Expands Renewable Energy Program and Officially Opens New Solar Farm

For Immediate Release:
    Joe McQueen
(518) 388-4772
October 8, 2015

Schenectady County Expands Renewable Energy Program
and Officially Opens New Solar Farm

(SCHENECTADY COUNTY, NY)  Schenectady County officials were joined today by representatives from Monolith Solar to formally open the new three acres solar farm that was installed at the Schenectady County Compost Facility and Resident Recycling Center on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville.

“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 to make Schenectady County a better place for future generations,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.

The new solar farm is comprised of ground-mounted solar panels on County owned land at the composting facility.  It is expected to generate 592.92 total kilowatts of solar energy, enough to power about 70 homes per year, and more than double what is currently being generated by solar panels previously installed at the County Recreation Facility, Rotterdam Branch Library, and County Business Center.

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 Glendale Nursing Home and County Library Branches.
The project is expected to save the County more than $30,000 in the first full year, and more than $1 million over the next 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 our families into the future,” said Jeff McDonald, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Facilities.

The Hetcheltown Road system represents the first phase of a multi-megawatt solar farm initiative that the county has partnered with Monolith Solar to implement. Schenectady County has applications pending to further expand our solar efforts allowing for a full 5mW of solar power to be generated through solar arrays.  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.

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.
This particular system takes advantage of New York state’s “remote net metering” policy, which allows for solar installations to be built and interconnected to the utility grid at vacant locations, whereby the electricity created is turned into credits which are seen at “remote” or “satellite” locations’ electric bills. This arrangement allows for buildings that otherwise could not have accommodated an on‐site solar system – perhaps due to shade or lack of available roof space – to reap the benefits of this fast growing renewable energy technology.

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