Unique community solar project completed in N.Y.

Unique community solar project completed in N.Y.

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The first community solar project with New York state’s electric and natural gas company National Grid has been completed, providing both a sustainable and financial lift to businesses and residents participating in the initiative.

The project is located in northern New York in the Hamlet of Somerville on approximately three acres of underused pasture land, according to a release. The solar photovoltaic modules, installed by United Renewable Energy, have a peak output of 241 kilowatts DC, yielding a peak of 165 kilowatts AC returned to the power grid.

The project is unique in that it is entirely supported by members within the nearby communities, including homeowners, farms and local businesses. The members of the solar farm receive a percentage of the solar plant's generation each month, which is credited to their bill as if the panels were installed on their own roofs. By centralizing the solar panels at one site, the plant was constructed at a much lower cost than otherwise possible, allowing members to save more money on their combined electricity and distribution costs.

National Grid provided support to the development and interconnection of the site, United Renewable officials said.

“National Grid looks forward to supporting effective solutions for a cleaner, greener energy future that are essential to achieving the company's clean energy goals as well as New York's target of 50 percent renewables by 2030," said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid's New York vice president. 

The plant achieved full production in December and is already more than 50 percent subscribed with just local word-of-mouth advertising. New members from the local community are welcome, but space is limited.

 


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