We are working for a more climate-friendly community.
Through education, advocacy and action, our Climate & Energy committee seeks to increase energy efficiency, reduce energy waste, and develop renewable energy sources. By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, we can help avert the dangers of climate change.
Spa Solar Park Development
Thanks in part to our efforts, a 2.5 megawatt (MW) solar array has been constructed on the site of the City’s closed Weibel Avenue landfill. Sustainable Saratoga board member Larry Toole developed the original proposal for the Spa Solar Park Development project, which was approved by the City of Saratoga Springs in 2014. The solar array is now operational and is projected to produce approximately 3.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
UPDATE: The Spa Solar Park project reached an important milestone on August 22, 2017 when its 2.5 MW solar array was “energized” and started supplying electricity to the power grid. The solar array’s 7,992 panels, constructed by Onyx Renewable Partners L.P., will produce enough renewable energy to meet approximately 40% of the municipality’s power needs. The project is a true win-win for the community: the array will reduce the City’s annual electricity costs by an estimated $100,000 at no cost to taxpayers, while simultaneously offsetting an estimated 2,316 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
The Saratoga Springs City Council has diligently pursued this initiative, which is sponsored by Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, over the past several years. Financing for the project was provided by Onyx, as well as grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Governor’s NY-Sun Competitive PV Program. In return for this external financing, the City of Saratoga Springs signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where the City will pay Onyx for the electricity produced by the solar panels at a guaranteed rate over a 20-year period. The electricity will be directed to National Grid, who will credit the City for power generated; the City saves money when the PPA price is lower than the National Grid credit amount.
We want to thank Commissioner Madigan, former Deputy Commissioner of Finance Lynn Bachner, the entire City Council, and all the project partners for helping Saratoga Springs to reduce its carbon footprint while lowering electricity costs. There are also ongoing discussions about a Phase 2 for the project, where community residents will have the opportunity to buy into a shared/community solar arrangement – check back for future updates!
Solar Energy in Saratoga
To learn more about how a Solarize program might work, click here to view the Solarize Guidebook from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Are you a homeowner interested in rooftop solar? Take our survey to help us determine interest in a Solarize program. Click here.
Educating the Community
In June 2014, we hosted a public presentation about energy efficiency and renewable energy in partnership with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG). Michael Lobsinger and Peter Lion of CEG discussed how our community can become more energy efficient and develop renewable energy, and provided information about state incentives through the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).
To view the presentation slides, click here.