BARNEVELD – A solar array benefiting a nonprofit agency was unveiled Thursday as stakeholders touted more solar projects to come.
From a seven-acre field owned by Upstate Cerebral Palsy — a habilitation direct-care service provider — the nonprofit agency was joined by officials from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Citizens Energy Corporation – the owner and operator of the array – to show off the project which was made possible by tapping into the state’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative.
In this instance, the state provided nearly $300,000 in support of the 1.4-megawatt 3,600 ground-mounted panel array.Get the latest stories delivered to your inbox every morning with the Observer-Dispatch daily newsletter: Choose the Daily Newsletter option and pick from five other selections to expand your coverage.
While mulling cost savings measures a few years ago, “We thought, ‘why can’t we be innovative, too, on our electric?”’ said UCP executive director Geno DeCondo. He added that a few phone calls to local elected officials resulted in being introduced to Citizens Energy Corporation.
DeCondo said the money saved in electric costs will be culled from 80 percent of their 50 sites scattered in the Mohawk Valley, and the savings will go toward program costs at UCP.
This will offset almost all of Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s annual electricity load, providing estimated savings to the organization of more than $30,000 each year, added David Sandbank, Director of Distributed Energy Resources at NYSERDA.
Located behind the organization’s Barneveld facility, the array will produce more than 1.5 million kilowatt-hours annually, the equivalent of taking 184 cars off the road or powering 245 homes annually.
“We can give money to a project, but it takes a lot of people to make a project a reality,” Sandbank said. “This is a glimpse of what we are doing in the state.”
Sandbank said the solar industry in New York has created about 12,000 jobs statewide.
Contact reporter Jolene Cleaver at 315-792-4956 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Cleaver).