By Green Energy Times Staff
The New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) announced SolarGEN, the first state-supported Solarize campaign aimed at helping manufacturers install solar systems. The announcement came during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Dimension Fabricators, in Glenville, for a 942-kilowatt solar system. The system, also supported by the NY-Sun initiative, is big enough to provide for annual electricity needs of 150 homes.
Expanding manufacturers’ use of solar energy is vitally important for New York’s goal of getting 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. SolarGEN will enable solar customers in the Capital Region to get competitive pricing through joint purchasing arrangements.
CEG’s SolarGEN campaign is receiving funds through the state’s Solarize program, now in its third round which started last year. The earlier Solarize campaigns, not aimed specifically at manufacturers, have already proven successful in New York. According to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who spoke at a separate event on the same day SolarGEN was announced, the state’s second Solarize round helped with installation of 850 projects and saved an average of $1,743 per installation.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, addressed the gathering at Dimension Fabricators. “Adopting solar energy is a smart way for large manufacturers to lower their energy costs and their carbon footprint at the same time,” she said. “By expanding the Solarize campaign to the manufacturing sector participating companies will drive even more competitive pricing while helping to advance Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading commitment to adoption of renewable energy across New York.”
Congressman Paul Tonko also spoke, saying, “Efforts like this one not only strengthen our region’s energy security and resiliency, they also bolster our long-term prospects for truly sustainable economic growth and job creation in the Capital Region and beyond.”
CEG’s SolarGEN Solarize campaign is designed to support manufacturers who want to install solar systems, but non-manufacturing commercial sites are also eligible. The Solarize campaign streamlines the process of preparing and installing systems, saving customers time and money.
Andrew Kennedy, CEG President and CEO, stressed the advantages to customers, saying, “CEG’s SolarGEN campaign provides a one-stop resource for local manufacturing and commercial facilities to improve performance and maximize the benefits of renewable and alternative energy technologies.”
Dimension Fabricators makes concrete reinforcing steel and related materials. Their new solar array, developed by EnterSolar, has 3,310 solar panels and covers the roof of one of the company’s buildings. It got $369,636 in funding through NY-Sun and the payback for the $1.9-million system is expected within six years.
Scott Stevens, President of Dimension Fabricators, mentioned earlier environmentally-friendly work that his company had done, including installing LED lighting and other investments in efficiency. But, he said, “[This] array is a serious effort that will reduce our carbon footprint by 700 metric tons per year!” While pointing to the savings the company would get, he added that the installation was “just the right thing to do.”
Paul Ahern, President of installer EnterSolar, added, “As the developer of this magnificent system at Dimension Fabricators, we are proud to be here to unveil this significant project for the capital region, and we thank Dimension Fabricators for their investment in solar and their community.” It is not his company’s first or largest installation. It has also done work for Stewart’s Shops, Bloomberg, Cornell University, and Swiss Re.
NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to grow solar power and move the State closer to having a sustainable solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has grown almost 800% and encouraged nearly $1.5 billion in private investments.