North Country Communities to Take Part in Community Solar NY Program Supporting Growth of Photovoltaic Investment Under NY-Sun

April, 2015

For Immediate Release: 04/20/15

Contact:

Jennifer Perry jperry@adirondack.org; 518.588.2965

Solarize Program Offers Limited-Time Discounts to Local Residents;
Kick-Off Workshop to Take Place in June

The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) will be working in partnership with the Village of Canton, First Nation Akwesasne and communities in the Tri-Lakes region to take part in Community Solar NY, a program that will make investing in solar power easier and more affordable for local residents and businesses.

The three Solarize programs will kick off with workshops the first week of June, where residents and business owners can learn about the program. Locations and dates will be announced shortly.

Community Solar NY supports locally organized community outreach aimed at engaging a critical mass of area homes and businesses in installing solar, resulting in competitive pricing.

Solarize participants will select a designated solar installer using a thorough pre-qualification process. Residents and businesses who sign up for solar installations by a preset deadline will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices. The more customers who sign up, the lower the price will be for everyone. Historically, Solarize campaigns lower the overall cost of solar projects by 10 to 20 percent.

As the leading community organizer of renewable energy development in the North Country, ANCA was selected by NYSERDA to assist these communities in implementing this innovative approach to increasing solar in the region.

“We are privileged to work alongside the enthusiastic and experienced leaders and volunteers within these communities,” says Jen Perry of ANCA.

This round of NYS Solarize campaigns are supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative. NY-Sun will invest up to $1 billion in solar power through 2023 to expand significantly the number solar installations across the State, ultimately enabling New York’s solar industry to become self-sustaining.

To learn more about the Solarize program, contact Jennifer Perry at ANCA: 518.891.6200, jperry@adirondack.org.

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North Country Now

CANTON – Canton and other North Country communities will be leading what they hope will become a surge in solar energy installations completed by this fall.

“Solarize the Village of Canton,” supported by a $5,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced last week, will spread the word about the value in solar installations and persuade people to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on the cost of an installation.

“It will start with an awareness campaign about how people can increase energy efficiency by going solar, including businesses,” said Mayor Mary Ann Ashley. “The village board is enthused. We have to look at these measures for our future.”

The campaign will be conducted by the energy subcommittee of Canton’s Sustainability Committee, which came out of discussions in an economic development steering committee.

“It’s largely an education outreach,” said Louise Gava of the Sustainability Committee’s energy subcommittee.

The aims are to inform anyone who is interested in solar energy to consider joining in an “aggregated purchase” of installations that will result in cost savings. In addition to the tax breaks and other incentives offered by New York and the federal government for solar installations, an additional 20 percent savings will be realized through this program.

St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton and United Helpers are part of the core group working on the campaign, which will involve pamphlets and high school students going door to door.

The umbrella group working with Canton, Akwesasne and some Franklin County communities in coordinating the campaign is the Adirondack North Country Association, which brought the program to village. Ashley said village government supports the campaign, but they don’t have the staff to administer it, so they have agreed that ANCA will oversee the plan.

“NYSERDA decided to give incentive dollars for communities to do a ‘solarize’ campaign,” said Jen Perry of ANCA.

“Canton leapt at the opportunity. They’ll run the campaign and I’ll run between the community and NYSERDA,” Perry said.

“They are amazing. They have talent, interest and enthusiasm to burn,” she said.

“There are 15 people on the on the Sustainability Committee, and solar power is near and dear to their hearts,” Mayor Ashley said.

Perry said Canton’s application for the $5,000 campaign funds was approved a month ago and the effort was launched.

“The money can be used for flyers, food for a meeting, web stuff, to offset expenses,” she said.

Among the imminent steps is selecting up to three certified installers by the end of May for the work, Perry said. The installations should start toward the end of summer and continue into early fall.

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