Tucker, whose farm is in Skaneateles, said that he had studied the town’s zoning laws as a member of the town planning board and found that the community would only be OK with turbines of a certain height. At 120 feet, his turbine is within the town’s limits and is able to take advantage of the high winds on his property.
The turbine generates all of the farm’s power annually and will be paid back in savings after about seven or eight years, Tucker said.
Erin Luchsinger Hull, of Cornell Cooperative Extension, presented on high-efficiency LED light fixtures. Though more expensive to buy and install, LEDs are 80 percent efficient, operate well in the cold and have a long life compared to other types of fixtures, making them a smart choice and a money saver, Luchsinger Hull said.
Nearly all of the farmers mentioned that the initial investment for their systems was greatly reduced due to grants offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Though New York’s utility companies don’t offer the high sell-back rates of other states, programs like NYSERDA make New York a leader in renewable energy funding, Stork said, who also presented on funding options for renewable energy.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.