2.4-MW New York solar array expected to provide 73% of county office’s energy needs
RER Energy Group (RER), project partners, town officials and other local dignitaries gathered at The Re-Use Building in Lincoln, New York, to officially commission the installation of the solar array located at the County’s Buyea Road landfill.
The array, which consists of 7,752 ground-mounted, photovoltaic solar panels, was developed to supply energy to the county office building and county jail utility accounts. This system will produce more than 2.8 million kWh of lower-cost renewable energy annually. Over the projected 25-year term, the agreement will result in more than $3 million in cost savings for the county and its residents.
It should be noted that these savings come at no cost to the county or its residents. Madison County is not paying for the installation or maintenance of the array; they are simply agreeing to purchase the power the array produces under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
“Madison County is purchasing the power the solar array produces,” explained Scott Ingmire, Director of the County Planning Dept. “When we started this project, we anticipated it would cover about 60% of the county’s energy needs. However, due to conservation measures and energy efficiency upgrades overseen by the county maintenance and the Board of Supervisors, we now anticipate it will cover approximately 73% of the county campuses energy needs.”
The owner of the solar installation and the entity that will be selling the power to Madison County is AEP OnSite Partners.
“AEP OnSite Partners collaborates with communities, businesses and universities to put in place advanced, clean energy resources in a way that is both affordable and hassle free. This project allows Madison County to add risk-managed, affordable energy to help meet their power needs without requiring them to own or maintain a solar system,” said Joel Jansen, chief operating officer, AEP OnSite Partners. “Providing advanced energy solutions, like solar installations, is the type of innovative, customer-focused approach that AEP OnSite Partners can provide to help communities be more sustainable.”
The installation of the 2.4-MW solar array was made possible with a $974,616.00 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) NY-Sun Competitive PV program.
Ian Palmer, CEO, New Energy Equity said, “The Madison County solar project is a pleasure to see completed since it represents over three years of development and engineering work by a team of dedicated individuals. This project had more than the average number of challenges along the way, and we’re sincerely appreciative of Scott and his team here at Madison in helping get everything accomplished.”
According to Mike Roach, Project Developer for RER Energy Group, “Madison County has a long history of innovation with regard to energy and sustainability. This project is yet another example of that creativity, whereby the county, at no cost to taxpayers, is able to leverage solar energy to reduce operating expenses while expanding the already substantial presence of clean, renewable energy in the region. When it comes to energy and sustainability in Upstate New York, Madison County is truly a powerhouse.”