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NYSERDA Helps LaFargeville School District Gain Wind and Solar Power

District’s Investment in Renewable Energy Technology Caps Other Energy Efficiency Projects, LEED-Certified Gym

August 10, 2011

The LaFargeville Central School District, with support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is installing a wind turbine to produce clean energy at its K-12 school building.

The $110,000 turbine is the capstone project of the district’s two-year clean-energy program.

The Jefferson County district is in the process of installing a 120-foot-high, 9-kilowatt wind turbine for its K-12 building, thanks to a $31,000 incentive from NYSERDA. Of the remaining $79,000, 73 percent will be reimbursed via state aid. The remainder will be funded through local taxes.

The turbine is expected to be up and running by the end of the summer. The district, located in the Thousand Islands region of Northern New York State, recently installed a $96,000, 10-kilowatt photovoltaic system, with help from a $43,000 NYSERDA incentive.

The combination of wind and solar power will provide nearly 4 percent of the school’s energy costs, both driving down the district’s yearly energy bill and reducing the state’s use of fossil fuels and its production of greenhouse gas emissions.

“By installing a wind turbine and photovoltaic cells, the LaFargeville School District is teaching its students that renewable resources are more than just a concept,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “Students can see with their own eyes how wind and solar energy can produce electricity. NYSERDA is proud to help the district reduce its electric bill while sharing our clean-energy message with the next generation.”

School officials say the solar panels are already generating more power than expected. Both systems were originally expected to have about a 10-year payback period.

The school district’s wind and solar installations follow a series of energy-efficiency projects, including installation of a white roof, which cuts down on summertime ventilation needs, a 25,000-square-foot, LEED-certified gymnasium and a walking path made of pieces of asphalt from an old parking area.

“We’re always looking for ways to save money,” said LaFargeville Superintendent Susan Whitney. “We believe clean energy is important. And it’s educationally sound for our children to look forward to the future, to see sustainable practices and how renewable resources can take us away from using fossil fuels.”

Over the last four years, NYSERDA has provided about $50 million to support energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean fleet projects in more than 1,000 school buildings from 220 districts around the state. This has created energy savings for all these districts, while helping to educate up to 500,000 students about the benefits of clean energy. The biggest savings have been achieved through installing more energy-efficient lighting systems and HVAC systems.

NYSERDA also provides a free benchmarking program for schools, which measures the amount of energy they are using prior to energy efficiency improvements. Under this program, NYSERDA helps schools rate the level of their energy consumption, which allows district officials to track savings after investing in clean-energy technology. The average school participating in NYSERDA’s free energy benchmarking program has reduced energy use by 22 percent since 2002.

About NYSERDA

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.

Last Updated: 01/17/2014

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