The first community solar farm in the Town of Rochester is completed and is now producing energy for more than 400 subscribers. Community solar developer Nexamp, along with local and county elected officials and area residents, came together on Saturday, November 2 for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening. Town of Rochester Supervisor Mike Baden and Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan were featured speakers at the event.
The site, located in the hamlet of Accord along Route 209, features an array of more than 14,000 solar panels, generating 5.6 MW of power. In addition, 1 MW of the project is dedicated to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Solar for All program for income-eligible homeowners and renters, according to a release from Nexamp.
Nexamp Vice President of Marketing Kyle Marchesseault said projects like these allow residents to use solar energy without paying installation costs or needing to own their own home. “Our community solar program is designed to make the benefits of solar more accessible,” he said.
A second community solar site is also nearing completion on Airport Road in the Town of Rochester. “These two projects have multiple benefits,” said Mike Baden, supervisor of the Town of Rochester. “Our residents are able to save money on their monthly electric bills, the town gains a source of long-term income from the land lease agreements, and we add substantial renewable energy resources to the local [electrical] grid.”
“Adding more clean energy sources in the county is critical as we work toward a carbon-free energy grid across New York state in the coming years,” said Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan. “It’s encouraging to see solar developers working closely with towns to design projects that meet local needs and bring economic opportunity. A healthy, vibrant future depends on these kinds of partnerships.”
This project is one of nine across the state awarded contracts through the state’s Solar for All program. As part of the state’s $1 billion NY-Sun program, Solar For All offers eligible low-income households the opportunity to subscribe to a community solar project in their area without upfront costs or participation fees. Eligibility for Solar for All is based on a resident’s location, household income, and annual electric usage. For more information, visit NYSERDA’s website or call 1-877-NYSMART.