Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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Large solar array operational in Ulster

Environmental activist and County Legislator Manna Jo Greene chats with
County Executive Michael Hein

TOWN OF ULSTER – The new large solar power array located alongside Frank Sottile Boulevard, behind the Hudson Valley Mall, is now officially operational.

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein announced the news Monday at the old Town of Ulster landfill site, joined by various county and state environmental officials.

The 5,940 shiny black panels straddle a former dump site on land acquired by the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency in 1993. The facility can generate up to 2.36 gigawatts of electricity every hour, which is 20 percent of Ulster County Government usage.

Hein was pleased, standing beside the eight acres of solar cells, installed on the old landfill.

Ulster County is currently the only net carbon-neutral county in New York State, he noted.

"Our awards have awards, we've been recognized in National Geographic; I get it,” Hein said. “But it's about so much more than that. It's about a sustainable planet; it's about building models that others can replicate. We cannot do it alone."

The facility, named the Utility-Scale Solar Project, was built through a power purchase agreement with SolarTech of Sutton, Vermont, at zero up-front cost to the taxpayer.

"We are purchasing power for a specific set amount, which is consistent with what we currently spend,” Hein said. “That will take place over a 20-year period. The nice part about it is because that number is set, as power costs rise, Ulster County actually sees taxpayer benefit, on top of typical environmental benefit."

County Legislator Manna Jo Greene was on hand to inspect the project, along with legislators Laura Petit and James Maloney, state DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, County Environmental Coordinator Amanda LaValle, County Planning Director Dennis Doyle, Rosendale Town Councilwoman Jen Metzger.

“Ulster County continues to lead the way in environmental stewardship through its commitment to clean energy,” LaValle said.


Almost 6,000 panels will generate about 20 percent of Ulster County government's electricity

 


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