Town of Catskill considers solar energy deals

June 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

CATSKILL The Town Board is considering a joint venture with the village for a 1-megawatt solar array that would cover all electric usage by both municipalities.

A ballfield in the Jefferson Heights section of Catskill is being considered for the array.

“There’s enough property there, and … it’s a real easy install,” consultant Gordon Cochran told the board on Tuesday.

Cochran said an additional option is working with the town of Hunter.

“The town of Hunter is putting their 200-(kilowatt) system at their (former) landfill. and they have room for probably 2 megawatts up there,” said Cochran, who works for Infinite Renewable Energy. “So they’re willing to make it available.”

Hunter is expected to seek assistance from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to reduce the cost of a solar installation. He was not sure what Catskill’s cost to use the Hunter site would be.

“Hunter is ready to rock ’n’ roll on it,” he said. “They want to (approve the project) by July 17 and have their application in. They have two proposals already, and they’ve got two more to look at. Then they’re going to have a special meeting … and they’ll be more installers there and finance people.”

Photon Consulting manager Stephanie Sienkowski said the town of Catskill uses 435,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year and the village uses 691,000.

She said the town could lease the solar array for 25 years before taking ownership.

Sienkowski said the town currently pays about $113,100 per year under a rate of 26 cents per kilowatt hour while the village’s electricity costs are about $103,650 under a 15-cent rate.

“We’ll give you solar energy for 14 cents (per kilowatt hour) for the entire system, and you’ll see savings of…$1.1 million,” Sienkowski said.

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