Norwich was able to begin one of the largest community solar Project in New York state last week with the appointment of a local construction firm. The project will see 52,569 installed over the next six to nine months. It is projected that the solar farm will produce roughly 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. All NYSEG customers will be eligible to join the solar farm. This includes renters and households that would other wise not be able to install roof-top solar. Solar Farms New York will be making a presentation to the Norwich Town Council on July 8th.
Leading the Charge in NY Solar Farms
The first phases of the project are already underway after being approved by the town. The motion to approve the project was unopposed. Town Supervisor David Evans explained his land was part of the lease when the project was first proposed. As such, the supervisor decided to recuse himself from the approval process. “They hope to have the project finished by early fall. This is a great thing for our area and county. It is clean energy and will add more to a small tax base. Local people will have a chance to take part,” said Evans on Monday.
“The Town of Norwich has shown amazing leadership in New York State’s effort to replace all fossil fuel electricity generation by 2040,” said Jeffrey Mayer, CEO of Solar Farms NY. “Thanks to the Evans family, enough solar panels will be planted to provide the community and its households decades of clean, renewable energy to one of the country’s most beautiful regions,” he added. The solar farm would be built on about 79 acres located on 5050 State Highway 23 in Chenango County.
Mayer explained that the solar electricity produced by the Norwich solar farm will go directly to the NYSEG grid, in accordance with New York state rules. “All NYSEG customers benefit from more renewable energy production,” he said, “but only our members will enjoy guaranteed savings on their monthly bills.”
Community Solar Farm Breaks Ground
Burrell’s Excavating Inc is the company that has been hired as the civil engineers that will prep the site for construction. Barrell’s, a family owned business, street and road reconstruction projects in the region. With their high-tech equipment, they’re able to navigate challenging terrain for commercial and residential projects.
According to Mayer, the community solar farm will be built on four contiguous farms owned by members of the Evans family. The yield of the first farm has already been sold out with NYSEG customers of the Norwich area. “We expect the farms to be completed in early 2020, less than a year from now, at which time they will begin to deliver valuable savings to our members,” Mayer added.
Solar Farms like the one at Norwich sell their electricity to NYSEG in compliance with New York’s community solar program. In turn, credits are put on customers’ bills. Because of this, customers pay Solar Farms New York for their electricity instead of utility companies. Solar Farms New York will bill customers 95% of the value of the credits they receive from NYSEG, resulting in a 5% savings on their solar credits.
The community solar project will also benefit local governmental entities in the form of payments in lieu of property taxes. Approximately $1,415,000 will be paid to the Town of Norwich, Chenango County, over the life of the project.