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Town of Clay Continues Support & Shift toward Green Energy

Clay Town Hall latest place where people can charge Electric Vehicles, part of town's commitment to a green-energy shift. CREDIT JOHN SMITH/WAER NEWS

The Town of Clay has already placed itself on the map for green energy initiatives by installing solar panel arrays. Now the Town Hall will be a pit stop for those with Electric Vehicles. The town cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new dual-charging E-V station through a $150-thousand state grant that will also implement further green-energy initiatives in the town.

Supervisor Damian Ulatowski says he now expects to see more E-V owners at their town hall on Route 31.

“Where someone driving through the community can say, ‘I need a quick charge here and according to the app on the phone, the Town of Clay has a facility that I can charge up and continue on my way up to Oswego or Watertown or wherever. So I’m very happy to say that the Town of Clay is moving in that direction, that all of us can move into.”

The green, cost saving measures the town has taken has caught the attention of the Program Manager of the C-N-Y Regional Planning and Development Board. Chris Carrick says Clay has been incredibly active in adopting and pursuing sustainability and considers it a role model to the county and region. He says while there’s many opportunities to go green, ‘electrifying transportation’ is rather immediate because 40-percent of greenhouse gas emissions are generated from gas vehicles.

“Along with insulating your house or putting solar panels on your house, or going geo-thermal, buying an electric car is the single biggest thing you can do.”

He says a state program offering incentives new E-V’s is available through all car dealers who sell them. Clay plans to purchase an E-V for its fleet next January.

Since the town has implemented green energy, Ulatowski says he’s seen more solar panels on homes.

“I think the next logical progression should be incorporating the technology into all new construction. For example, there are solar panels today that look very much like roof tiles, so that technology could be incorporated into a home. There’s geo-thermal energy where basically, you’re taking the natural heat from the earth and bringing it up to your home, and only supplementing … with traditional heating as we know it today.”

Ulatowski adds the town wants to be leader in green, sustainable projects and continue to educate citizens about their own options. Clay is currently exploring adding a 22 acre solar-panel-array to offset street light costs. They also plan to switch street lights to L-E-D’s.

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