June 13, 2014

Clinton County to consider solar power

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators will consider whether they want to switch to solar power to energize some county properties in the future, which could lead to significant savings.

"It's about saving for the taxpayers of this county, and if we can do that, then this is definitely worth looking into," said Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh), who chairs the county's Finance Committee.


Dame and fellow legislators heard a presentation on solar power at a recent Finance Committee meeting from Jennifer Jachym of Solar City, a private solar power company.

Jachym explained that since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced two years ago that New York would provide lucrative incentives to solar-power companies to set up shop in the state, municipalities have become prime choices.

Jachym said Clinton County is deemed a strategic site for solar power because of its ability to transport the energy created from solar panels to the delivery system of the local provider, which in the county's case is New York State Electric and Gas.


A solar-panel field would be set up on 10 acres of land on the east side of property at Plattsburgh International Airport.

The parcel used to house the shooting range at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base so it is actually sunk down about 10 feet, which would provide natural cover for the solar panels from passing motorists.

"You won't even see them from the road," said Legislator Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru), who requested the presentation from Solar City.


The Federal Aviation Administration would have to give approval for a solar-panel field being so close to the runway.

Airport Manager Chris Krieg said the FAA would check to make sure the solar-panel field wasn't too close to the runway and that it didn't produce too much glare for incoming and outgoing aircraft.

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