Tompkins County is a leader in solar power in the southern part, and panels like the recently completed solar farm at Enfield will ensure it will stay that way for years to come.
Three hundred and seventy-three households will benefit from a recently completed 2.3 megawatt solar panel on Mecklenburg Road in Enfield. This new solar farm includes 6,804 solar panels on 13 acres and is the largest in the county and southern part.
The solar farm will reduce greenhouse gases by 1,430 metric tonnes per year, the equivalent of taking 306 cars off the road.
“This community solar project provides residents with clean energy and supports our ongoing sustainability efforts in Tompkins County,” said Martha Robertson, Speaker of the Tompkins County Legislature.
Efforts in Tompkins County align with New York’s renewable energy goals. New York’s largest solar farm has 164,312 solar panels producing 32 megawatts on 200 acres of land in Upton on Long Island.
Ryan McCune, vice president of sales and marketing for Renovus Solar, said the legislation has given a huge boost to the solar industry.
“We’ve been very progressive on solar legislation here,” McCune said.
Renovus Solar and BlueRock Solar have co-developed the Enfield solar farm. Blue Rock Solar owns the solar farm.
“Since the community solar project is a subscription-type project, it offers customers the easiest and cheapest way to switch to solar power, as no upfront payment is required to join,” said said Michael Francis, CEO of Blue Rock Solar. “There is no credit check, customers sign a contract for as little as a year, and since the project is billed net, we are offering discounts on utility supply and delivery rates. It’s a great program that benefits both the environment and our customers. “
Membership-type farms are open to anyone living in a utility billing area of a community solar project. No initial investment, down payment or long term contract is necessary. Subscribers pay as they go over the term of their contract, which is typically one to three years.
Subscription-type farms differ from condominium projects, in which participants buy or rent solar panels. If owners or tenants choose to move outside of the billing area, they can sell their panels.
For both models, customers receive a credit for the solar energy they use, usually at a variable rate per kilowatt hour, which is deducted from the energy portion of their electricity bill. The subscription model allows someone to offset up to 10% of their electricity bill.
Renovus Solar currently has 1,000 customers who benefit from proprietary model solar parks. A property model allows a homeowner to offset 100 percent of their electricity costs.
“We prefer to deliver 100 percent value to our customers,” McCune said.
The solar company is completing solar farms in Spencer and Candor, is about to begin construction of a solar farm in Homer, and is waiting for NYSEG to interconnect a recently completed solar project at Beaver Dams. Renovus Solar is on track to build 13 model ownership solar farms by the end of the year.
The company is also developing solar farms as a subscription model.
“Renovus’ goal has always been to bring solar power to the masses, and every watt of solar power we develop with partners like BlueRock helps bring New York City closer to its energy infrastructure goals,” said Joe Sliker, President of Renovus Solar.
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