December 17, 2010
NYSERDA-Funded Solar Project Helps Hoosick Falls Farm Go “Green” and Save on Utility Costs
December 17, 2010 — New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr. today joined Congressman-elect Chris Gibson and officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to announce the commissioning of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Berle Farm in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. The project was supported by funding from NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Energy for America (REAP) program.
Berle Farm's new PV system will supply between 65 and 75 percent of the farms electricity load. It also will help save nearly $2,000 per year in utility costs and reduce the farms carbon footprint.
“New York's comprehensive energy policy has created one of the most attractive environments for renewable energy in the country, which will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, fight global climate change, and meet our future energy requirements through clean, sustainable resources,” said Murray. “Our incentive programs for renewable energy are helping small businesses like Berle Farm invest in expanding their operations instead of their utility bills.”
“Supporting New York's farms is extremely important and I want to thank all those involved. This project, to create one of the first renewable energy powered certified organic farms in the state, demonstrates that renewable energy is powering the future in a positive way. I will continue to be supportive of these projects because they help Upstate farms and preserve the environment for generations to come,” said Senator Roy McDonald.
Berle Farm is a 600 acre USDA-certified organic farm. Beatrice Berle, proprietor of Berle Farm, said, “The energy required to run farm operations is significant — both in terms of its financial and environmental costs. As an organic farmer it is important to me to be as naturally sustainable as possible. Small businesses need more programs like REAP and NYSERDA’s solar electric incentive program, because those incentives benefit us immediately.”
The 7.74kw pole-mounted PV array was designed and installed by Alteris Renewables. NYSERDA provided $19,300 toward the purchase and installation costs and the USDA provided $14,750 in funding. Total cost of the system was $53,000.
According to Mike Stangl, Alteris Regional Vice President, the challenge is not getting funds, it is spreading awareness about their availability. “Our team is committed to helping business owners, like Beatrice Berle, understand the incentives and grants that make solar power a cost-effective option so they can invest in their operations instead of their utility costs.”
Since 2005, NYSERDA has provided nearly $3 million in incentives to 101 residential, seven commercial, four not-for-profit, and 2 local government PV projects in Rensselaer County, totaling more than $6.7 million. These systems are generating more than 870 kilowatts of clean, renewable electricity annually.
In March, the Public Service Commission authorized $144 million in rate-payer supported funding for solar energy projects.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.
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Last Updated: 10/31/2012