The city of Glens Falls and EDC of Warren
County has received a large solar electric NY
Sun grant that will result in the development
of a solar farm on city-owned property on
Upper Sherman Avenue in Queensbury.
It is part of NY-Sun awards for large solar
electric projects that will increase the solar
capacity in New York state by more than 214
megawatts, a 68 percent increase over the
amount of solar installed and in the pipeline
at the end of 2013, according to the New York
State Energy Research and Development
Authority (NYSERDA). The competitive
awards further advance the scale-up of solar
and move the state closer to a sustainable,
self-sufficient solar industry.
Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond said the
solar project will decrease the city’s energy
cost, saving up to $4.3 million over 20 years,
about a 25 percent overall savings.
EDC President Ed Bartholomew said the
Glens Falls project is just one of 50 projects
that received funding from the state
and that EDC was pleased to work, assist
and partner with the city, NYSERDA, Gov.
Andrew Cuomo’s office and project installer
SolarCity of Albany in advancing this project.
Bartholomew said the solar project would
permit the city to receive credits for the
energy that it produces, which could be
used to reduce National Grid utility bills at
city-owned facilities such as the wastewater
treatment plant, water treatment facility
and City Hall.
Bartholomew praised Cuomo’s initiative
which increases the state’s solar capacity
by 218 megawatts, with the Glens Falls proposal
being for 2.495 KW, thereby “providing
Glens Falls and New York residents with a
cleaner energy economy and lower energy
costs. ” It would lock in electrical rates for
the next 20 years.
SolarCity undertook the competitive application
process on behalf of the city.
Officials said there would be no cost to
the city to construct or operate the project,
other than mowing the grass. At the end of
20 years, the city could renew the agreement,
purchase the solar panels or instruct Solar-
City to remove them at no cost to the city.
The solar farm (placement of solar panels)
will be built on city property formerly
used as a leaf site. It would occupy approximately
10-15 acres of the 49-acre parcel.
Installation of the panels could take place
later this year, said Bartholomew.
“We are making another long-term investment
in our clean energy economy with
nearly $100 million in funding that will dramatically
increase our capacity to generate
and utilize solar energy across the state,”
Cuomo said. “New York is quickly becoming
a national leader in renewable energy by
building a competitive solar industry, and
today’s award recipients are an example of
how that progress continues to grow.”
The new capacity, which is planned for
142 project sites, was obtained through the
NYSERDA Competitive PV program, which
has been working to stimulate the market
for systems larger than 200 kilowatts for four
years. A total of $94 million in renewable
funding for these projects leverages private
investment of $375 million in new PV power
According to Cuomo, a total of 50 project
sites are located at businesses; 41 at schools
and school districts; 36 at municipal and
other government facilities; and 15 at nonprofits,
health care institutions and colleges.
“NY-Sun is mobilizing private investment
in this clean renewable resource as New
York state continues to build clean energy
systems that are resilient, reliable and affordable,”
said John B. Rhodes, NYSERDA
president and CEO.
He said the responses to this solicitation demonstrates that New York state has
become an increasingly attractive solar
market. A total of 49 developers submitted
proposals, a marked increase over the
previous two solicitations. The latest bids
included large solar developers that have
previously focused on other states, regions
and countries, and that submitted bids to
New York state for the first time.
“The NY-Sun awards announced by Gov.
Cuomo underscore the tremendous strides that are being made to greatly
increase the amount of clean solar electricity capacity in
New York State,” said Gil C. Quiniones, president
and CEO of New York Power Authority.
“The competitive photovoltaic program leading
to these awards also reflects a strategic
approach for lowering solar power costs and
spurring the private sector’s investments in
this clean renewable power source.”
The New York Power Authority continues
to work closely with NYSERDA to bring about
further integration of solar power through
initiatives to reduce solar costs.