Solar panels behind the Town of Chester Municipal center soak up sun and generate electricity to power the complex — with the excess power being fed into the regional power grid. The town has a variety of such installations which are expected to save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per year. Following Chester's lead, the town of Warrensburg is embarking on a project to erect various solar arrays to both save expenses and to minimize local government's carbon footprint.
Photo by Thom Randall.
The first phase of a solar generation project planned by local municipal government has received approval from the Adirondack Park Agency, town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty announced at the Dec. 11 monthly town board meeting.
Plans call for dozens of solar panels to be erected at the town sewer treatment plant off state Rte 418. Present plans call for the panels, set up along the state highway, to generate a total of 50,000 watts.
The town, however, may be seeking an increase in the power output to 100,000 watts after the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority doubled its maximum energy output restriction for installations, eligible for grants and credits, at non-profit entities.
A permit was required from the APA because of the proximity of the panels to the Schroon River, which is situated not far away on the other side of state Rte. 418.
Warrensburg is seeking to install more solar arrays at other town properties in future phases of the project, with an expectation of saving taxpayer dollars on utility costs while curbing the town’s carbon footprint.
Under a proposed agreement with a private firm, the solar arrays — which cost tens of thousands of dollars —will not cost taxpayers anything up front, but will be paid off over time through receiving a portion of the savings that accrue on utility costs.
In an agreement with a private enterprise, the town is guaranteed savings of 10 percent to 25 percent of its electricity expenses over the life of the contract, proposed to be 10 years.
In other business at the Dec. 11 meeting:
• The town board heard from Supervisor Geraghty that the state Department of Transportation has denied the town’s request for a crosswalk to be established on Richards Avenue. The walkway would have connected the new Warrensburg Health Center now being developed with an employee parking lot across the road where the former Econo-Quik Car Wash was once located. The state agency cited that there would not be enough pedestrian traffic across Richards Avenue to warrant the crosswalk.