New Dutchess Community College roof touches off solar debate

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Replacement of roofs at Dutchess Community College and installing $2.6 million worth of generators at various county buildings were the two items that generated some discussion during a brief Dutchess County Legislature monthly meeting Monday night.
Democrat Joel Tyner conceded there is no chance of adding solar panels to that project, but, he claimed speculation about it has generated some excitement within his green energy cohort.
“This could be a topic that’s, you know, mentioned when they meet with the architect this week and that’s not a bad thing,” Tyner said.  “But I would just note that there are dozens of colleges and universities all across the country that have solar up the wazoo all over their buildings.  The Arlington High School has solar.”
Fellow Democrat Kari Rieser suggested including solar in the specs for the next major building rehab project going out to bid.
Republican Alan Surman is not jumping on the bandwagon, At least not for roof-mounted solar.
“Ground-based panels are much cheaper, are easier to handle and you can, the orientation can be made optimal for maximum generation of power,” Surman said.
The over $1.8 million roof project was approved. State money will cover half the cost.  The legislature approved over $900,000 in initial bonding to cover the balance.
Also approved was the bonding for the generators.