Putnam County building goes solar, saves energy

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CARMEL – Solar panels on Putnam County’s Kern Building in Brewster are now live providing over 58,500 kilowatts of clean energy in the first year to the county’s motor vehicle and health department.

“This is an exciting step on the road to energy independence,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “But it is only one, highly visible step. For years now, we have been quietly working to make all county facilities more energy efficient, and we have been steadily building out a green infrastructure plan that will benefit our offices, our employees and our taxpayers well into the future.”

Odell started developing the plan to reduce the county’s carbon footprint in 2016, when she served as co-chair of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.

An energy audit of county buildings by Ameresco, has been paying off with the county saving more than $300,000 a year in energy bills, while also reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

The reduction is the equivalent to planting 2,793 acres of forest.

The energy audit led to the upgrade of nearly all county facilities with energy-saving measures. In addition to the solar arrays on the Kern Building, the County Office Building will be outfitted with solar panels when the roof repair is complete and the buildings on the Donald B. Smith campus will also follow.

In all, the solar panels will provide 464,029 kilowatts of clean energy to the county in the first year.