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Cape Vincent solar project operational


The village of Cape Vincent’s solar array, shown above in October, is now operational after National Grid finished its connections to the system.

CAPE VINCENT — National Grid connected the village’s entire solar array to its electric circuit feeder without requiring the Board of Trustees pay additional fees, making it operational six months after its installation.

Robert J. Campany, project manager for Fourth Coast Inc., which oversaw the project, said National Grid connected the 140-kilowatt solar array to its feeder in November after re-evaluating its infrastructure and deciding it could support the project. The board announced the array’s operation at its Dec. 13 meeting, Deputy Mayor Jerry D. Golden said.

The board planned in September to allocate 90 kilowatts of electricity from the array to National Grid’s feeder and 50 kilowatts to the village’s sewage treatment plant, which is 100 feet from the array, to accommodate feeder limitations and not pay additional costs.

While Mayor Timothy D. Maloney previously said the board would have to pay an additional $200,000 if it wanted National Grid to update the feeder, Mr. Golden said National Grid allowed the village to connect the entire project without additional construction or fees.

“We didn’t have to split anything,” village Department of Public Works Superintendent Marty T. Mason said.

The $267,000 array is expected to sharply decrease the village’s electric bills, Mr. Campany said.

Mr. Mason said the array will send electricity to the grid. The electricity is then subtracted from the treatment plant’s electric meter, lowering the village’s electricity cost.

“We should be able to see quite a bit of savings,” Mr. Golden said. “It’s very beneficial to the taxpayers.”

Installing the array was the final part of the board’s $10 million sewage treatment plant upgrade project.

Mr. Golden said construction for the new plant, which included new lifts and sewer lines, was completed in 2015. The board received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office to help fund the plant. The board also received about $46,000 in rebates to help fund the solar array.

“The old plant was desperately in need to be replaced,” Mr. Golden said.

The solar array “seemed like a really good idea for our project,” he said.

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