PROGRESSING NEW YORK'S RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS
There are many benefits of solar energy to the environment. Solar is a clean, renewable source of energy that can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower our carbon footprint. Skaneateles Solar supports New York’s goal of generating 70% of the state’s energy by renewable sources by 2030. It will contribute to climate change mitigation by providing utilities clean energy for distribution and consequently reducing the need for other fossil fuel technology operation to meet energy demands. Unlike traditional fossil fuels such as coal and oil, solar energy does not contribute to air pollution or water pollution. Burning fossil fuels for energy releases particulates, mercury, arsenic, chromium, sulfur dioxide gas, and other compounds that can be harmful to human health.
According to the EPA, over its projected lifetime, one megawatt of solar power will offset approximately 157,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to planting over 3,705,500 trees or removing approximately 27,900 cars from the road for an entire year.
In addition, solar facilities are very quiet, and the panels are low to the ground and do not pose a danger to birds, bats, or other wildlife. Community solar projects provide residents with access to renewable energy and the opportunity for lower energy bills while reducing stress on the grid and demand for fossil fuel power.
Solar power is
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate power anywhere the sun shines. This video from the U.S. Department of Energy shows how a PV panel converts the energy of the sun into renewable electricity to power homes and businesses.
REVENUES, CONSUMER SAVINGS, AND JOBS
Skaneateles Solar will provide a tangible economic benefit in the form of tax revenue to the local community. The Project will enter into a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Tax) agreement, whereby the Town, County and School District will receive annual payments, based on the capacity of the project. This PILOT revenue is significantly greater than the taxes that are generated by the existing agricultural use and will support local and county services, education, and infrastructure while creating very minimal demand for town or county services and no demand for services from the School District.
Cost Savings for Community Solar Subscribers
Skaneateles Solar will also allow residents to enroll in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) community solar program and save money every month on their electric bills. Residents can subscribe to the community solar project and receive credits on their electric bill for the clean energy produced. Everyone, including renters and co-op/condo owners, can save money by accessing the clean energy produced by the Skaneateles Solar Project. Community Solar customers both offset their electricity consumption using locally produced clean energy and also benefit from the offered discounts on the community solar credits that lower their monthly electric bill.
The project will open opportunities for construction jobs, as well as for long-term employment or services throughout the operation and maintenance phase.
About Community Solar
This video from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority shows how the community solar program works.
Electrical Grid Benefits
CLEAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO COMMUNITY POWER
Skaneateles Solar, as well as other similar solar projects that are interconnecting to existing electric distribution lines, have significant positive impacts on the electrical grid. Depending on their point of interconnection, these projects are fronting the cost to upgrade power lines, substations, and protective equipment, and provide modernization that would otherwise be included in the Utility’s 5-year Capital Investment Plans, whereby the cost is covered by the ratepayers.
As a “Distributed Generation” solar project, the energy from Skaneateles Solar will be injected into the grid close to the consumers rather than being transported for long distances through transmission lines. As a result, significant transmission cost is saved which positively impacts all local customers, not only those who participate in the community solar program.