Monday, October 20, 2014

State Grant Paves Way for Glens Falls Solar Farm

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- Finding ways keep expenses in check can prove challenging for any city leader, but Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond's administration has been awarded an opportunity that could provide dividends as early as next year.

"It is clean energy and if we can save $125,000 to $150,000 a year, that gives us a lot of opportunities to do some things differently in the city," Diamond said.

Thanks to a New York Sun grant from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office and NYSERDA, a new solar farm will be constructed on city owned land in the town of Queensbury on Upper Sherman Avenue. Eventually, it will produce power for several city owned facilities and is expected to create savings of $200,000 a year or more than $4 million over 20 years.

"Whether it's the wastewater treatment plant, the water treatment plant, City Hall or street lighting, it certainly will reduce about 25 percent of the utility cost for the city," said Ed Bartholomew, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Warren County.

The solar farm will take up less than a third of the 49-acre site and will be built and maintained by the company, SolarCity, at no expense to Glens Falls taxpayers.

"There is no front end cost to us,” Diamond said. “The contract is for 20 years and if we choose to renew, we can do that. It is a really positive step for Glens Falls."

With the grant's incentives going directly to SolarCity, Glens Falls' savings will be realized in credits to its National Grid bill. Construction could start as early as next spring.

"We are really excited about that but first and foremost again, the governor has really stepped up for Glens Falls, New York," Diamond said.


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