Update on Skaneateles' solar quest

Here's a news flash; it was reported at the Municipal Board meeting that National Grid is asking for a rate increase because use is down.

Solar is a technology we have to look at Peter Moffa said, "It's passive, it's not windmills and there are lots of incentives out there."

The five projects the village has in the bidding process are demonstration projects that will be funded by a New York Power Authority grant, and will be used to study the viability of capturing Skaneateles sunshine. The village will have to kick in 10 percent of the cost.

You never know until you install, what will be the best product several board members lamented trying to coax Skaneateles Municipal Operations Director, Bob Lotkowictz into trying out different manufacturers.

Lotkowictz said his concern was to maximize the grant dollars.

There was discussion in regard to solar panel aesthetics being covered any code or zoning rules. For example, would you need a building permit to install?

"If in the future we can encourage solar, say even 20 percent for each house, it will be a significant reduction," Moffa said.

Solar grant genesis

On Jan. 27 Governor David Paterson announced the statewide solar initiative at SUNY ESF's Bray Hall. Solar energy is a source for our times and New York is leading the way in clustering this natural resource's industry he said. This was part of the lamb duck governor's promise from his State of the State; to deliver 45 percent of electricity needed through more efficient, clean renewable energy by 2015.

"This puts us ahead of the rest of the country," Paterson said.

By clustering he means placing all parts of the acquiring and delivering solar energy process throughout New York.

For example the silicone needed in manufacturing panels is coming from Niagara, while the solar panels are being produced in Dutchess County. These will then be set up in vacant industrial parks in Syracuse to gather energy stored, then used on the grid under the leadership of the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

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