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Warrensburg now seeks solar power

Town of Warrrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty talks to a solar engineer, making an appointment for Friday Dec. 28 to survey the town's various facilities throughout town -- for a preliminary assessment of the prospects of converting to solar power.

Town of Warrrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty talks to a solar engineer, making an appointment for Friday Dec. 28 to survey the town's various facilities throughout town -- for a preliminary assessment of the prospects of converting to solar power. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Inspired by neighboring Town of Chester’s commitment to harness the energy of the sun, Warrensburg town government is now pursuing solar power to energize their various facilities.

Kevin Geraghty said this week that he was meeting soon with various solar engineering firms to first determine the town of Warrensburg’s energy needs and then devise applicable solar-power solutions.

He said that the town’s sewer lagoon off Rte. 418 was a top priority for a solar installation. Also to be evaluated for solar power will be the town hall and Senior Center — both on Main St., the town highway garage on King St., and the Warrensburg Health Center at Main and Richards Avenue, he said.

“Several firms are interested in working with us,” Geraghty said. “We’re going to consider where solar will work, and to install solar facilities wherever we can.”

Two weeks ago, the town of Chester began its conversion to solar power, as one set of solar panels went online at the town landfill. Other solar arrays are to go online soon at the Chester municipal center, town garage, Dynamite Hill recreation center and the town-owned Chester-Horicon Health Center.

Chester’s solar conversion project is a public-private partnership — with about $500,000 worth of solar panels, regulators and associated equipment designed, installed and bankrolled by a team of private firms. The installation is leased to Chester and governed by a 10-year contract that guarantees a savings of 10 to 25 percent on electricity costs, below standard rates paid from power off the grid.

Town of Chester officials have said they like the idea of the lease contract’s guaranteed savings while private firms take on the responsibility and risk associated with maintenance, changing market rates and equipment obsolescence.

Geraghty said the Warrensburg town board is presently keeping its options open on the decision of whether to favor leasing or purchasing equipment, which might offer more lucrative savings for taxpayers.

“We will see what the engineers and solar companies have to offer,” he said.

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