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Solar savings coming to Clay

Solar panels, like these outside Warner Energy LLC on Morgan Road, will be installed this summer at Clay's town hall and highway facilities.

Solar panels, like these outside Warner Energy LLC on Morgan Road, will be installed this summer at Clay's town hall and highway facilities. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— There’s also the tax savings, which is nothing to sneeze at.

“We’re looking at about $1,200 to $1,800 a month in energy savings,” Ulatowski said.

The project will be funded through a NYSERDA grant and a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which, according to Drescher, offers a financing solution that eliminates up-front costs to town taxpayers. The PPA is still being negotiated, so the details are not yet available to the public.

That’s not all. The system can actually save town residents money on their own energy costs, not just the town’s.

“If the solar array is generating energy in excess of the town’s needs, it can be fed back to the grid and used by other utility customers, rolling back the electric meter in the process,” Drescher said.

The system is equipped with a monitoring system that will be kept in the lobby at Town Hall that will allow the town and Warner Energy to ensure that the array is providing the energy it’s supposed to.

“The state-of-the-art monitoring system that will be installed in the lobby of both buildings will allow detailed, real-time data collection and analysis,” Drescher said. “Data from the system is used to verify and guarantee the array produces at its rated power and predicted energy totals. The monitoring system itself can serve as a teaching and demonstration tool, showing the impact of the array from any location with an internet connection.”

Ulatowski said he hopes other towns will follow the model being set by the town of Clay.

“Green technology is the next industrial revolution,” he said. “I hope other towns will see what this little town in Upstate New York that no one has ever heard of is doing and say, ‘Hey, we can do that, too.’”

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