Supervisor Dave Seeley announced the completion of Phase I of Irondequoit’s solar energy project, as the new solar panels atop the public safety building are now operational and generating energy.
The new array represents the first of a two-phase solar project for the town, with the second stage involving the installation of solar panels on the roof of the future Department of Public Works building.
The project is funded by a $250,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through it’s Clean Energy Communities program, a central strategy in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy initiative which aims to have 50 percent of the state’s electricity produced by clean and renewable sources by 2030. The installation was completed by GreenSpark Solar, a Greater Rochester company.
“The Irondequoit community has led the way in utilizing clean and renewable energy, and we are proud to have this exciting solar project come online,” said Seeley. “Not only are we becoming better stewards of our environment by lowering our carbon footprint, we are protecting our taxpayers by lowering our energy costs tens of thousands of dollars, annually. I thank Gov. Cuomo and NYSERDA for providing this opportunity for the town of Irondequoit.”
The town of Irondequoit was one of the first municipalities in the Greater Rochester region to be designated a Clean Energy Community in 2016, which made the town eligible for a larger amount of state funding. To earn the designation, a local government must complete four of a possible 10 High Impact Actions, which for Irondequoit, included:
One: The installation of two electric vehicle charging stations at town facilities.
Two: A local “Solarize” campaign to increase the number of solar rooftops.
Three: Adoption of a Unified Solar Permit to make the local permitting process more efficient.
Four: Energy Code Enforcement Training for town staff.
“Irondequoit is leading by example, showing their community members that diverse renewable energy solutions provide meaningful cost savings, local economic benefits and a better balance with our planet for homeowners, business owners, community partners, and more,” said Kevin Schulte, CEO of GreenSpark Solar. “We need more pioneers like Dave Seeley and the town of Irondequoit in the Greater Rochester Area and we look forward to partnering with the town on several more projects to help them achieve their climate goals.”
The 180 panels atop the public safety building — which houses the Irondequoit Police Department and the town courts — will generate 55 kilowatts of direct current power. The four inverters installed will convert the DC power produced by the solar array into usable alternating current power, and communicate with the power grid.
In addition to the future installation of solar panels atop the future DPW facility, 2019 will see the town of Irondequoit continue to move forward on several renewable energy projects, including adding hybrid-EV vehicles to the town’s fleet. The town has also partnered with neighboring communities to procure 100 percent clean energy for residents and small businesses through Community Choice Aggregation.