BALDWIN, N.Y. – This week marks the first for households and small businesses in Central New York and the state’s Southern Tier to enroll for a community solar subscription with a new, more customer-friendly contract. Three projects, each composing 2.7 megawatts in DC production capacity, are owned by local developer Delaware River Solar (DRS). Solstice, a social enterprise that supports community solar access, has initiated a campaign to enroll customers in eligible areas.
Community solar allows residents and business owners to subscribe to the solar energy generated by a nearby solar farm. Customers’ electric bills go to support local, renewable energy, and they pay a discounted rate for the energy that their panels produce. This system circumvents upfront installation costs while saving the customer money in real time and bringing the state closer to reaching its renewable energy goals. Subscriptions are available to locals of Central New York and the Southern Tier, including the cities of Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton.
“Delaware River Solar is providing residents and businesses the opportunity to directly participate in a local renewable energy resource while saving money, so no doubt we’re excited,” said Dan Green of DRS “This is a win-win for project participants, local communities, and the environment.”
Compared to typical projects in the state, these community solar farms offer a more customer-friendly contract. Delaware River Solar is offering a subscription rate 10% beneath that of the utility, with a shorter six-year term compared to the lengthy twenty-year commitments offered by many other community solar providers. Moreover, the project has no cancellation fees, giving subscribers added flexibility. For those that prefer an ownership model, DRS offers households the option to purchase panels upfront, bringing them benefits for the lifetime of the panels while allowing them to take advantage of tax credits.
Solstice CEO Steph Speirs anticipates the program to be a success. “These are the most customer-friendly projects we’ve offered,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be working with DRS to get solar in the hands of more New Yorkers.”
Each project occupies an 11-acre parcel of former farmland and will serve approximately four hundred households. Two are located near Baldwin’s Chemung Road, while a third lies further north, on Podunk Road in Enfield. On top of benefits to its subscribers, the projects will bring 37 jobs to the area during its construction, protect 14 acres of land for future use, and provide approximately $390,000 dollars in additional revenues to the county, town, and school district over a 20-year period.
Interested individuals can learn more and enroll at ny.solstice.us.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr.