Local governments continue investing in solar

May 26, 2017 06:42 AM

Another local city has decided to power its buildings with solar energy, and there's no direct cost to taxpayers. The ribbon was cut on Canandaigua's solar field this week, and the city's mayor hopes you pay attention.

Canandaigua's DPW building and sewage treatment plant are now powered by the sun. This isn't the first municipality to power its buildings with solar. Rose in Wayne County, Albion in Orleans County, and Brockport, Greece, Penfield, and Rochester in Monroe County are among other local governments to do the same, according to the New York State Department of Public Service.

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Even though Canandaigua taxpayers aren't footing the bill for the solar field, a state authority, NYSERDA, is providing $1.3 million in grant money. The project is expected to save the city $3.5 million dollars in operation costs over the lifetime of the contract.

Mayor Ellen Polimeni hopes homeowners will follow the lead of local governments and make changes.

"It shows that municipals are leading the way in interesting the residents themselves in the issue of solar, and how they can actually make use of it within their homes," the mayor said.

Jim Kurtz, the president of RER Energy, which developed the Canandaigua project, said, "The federal government provides a 30% tax credit. That tax credit is scheduled to decline. After 2019, it starts declining toward 10 percent."          

That's why solar experts say you need to start thinking about this right now if you want solar energy to power your home. Governor Andrew Cuomo says in New York, about $1.5 billion of private money has been invested in solar since 2011.


Chris Horvatits

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