PLATTSBURGH — Two firms have been selected as installers for the Solarize the Adirondack Coast campaign.
Plattsburgh-based Triangle Electric and Queensbury-based Apex Solar were chosen after review of credentials by the project organizers, the Town of Plattsburgh, its Solar Planning Committee and the Adirondack North Country Association.
The goal is to develop a critical mass of interested property owners that will allow installers to offer lower costs — usually about 10 to 20 percent less overall — due to the volume of work available.
Triangle Electrical Systems President Linda Brienza said the company has been installing solar arrays in the North Country for 12 years. They see a great opportunity to take part in this second round of Solar NY through Solarize the Adirondack Coast, which is part of Community Solar NY.
"We're very excited about it," she said. "This one is right in our backyard."
'GOOD TIME TO INVEST'
The program is open to owners of residential and business properties who want to install a solar array and require a site assessment to qualify.
Participants will need to be connected to the electrical grid for at least three years.
It is a good time to invest, before incentives decrease, Brienza said. It is also a way to hedge against rising electricity costs, which increase an average of 3 percent a year.
She said that, based on the size of the array installed, customers can expect to see a 10 to 30 percent return on their investment over the life of the array, typically between 20 and 30 years.
Solarize the Adirondack Coast is supported by a $10,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative.
The state has made up to $1 billion available through 2023 to expand solar installations across the state.
FROM THE SUN
The North Country has a long history of exporting renewable energy to other areas, Town of Plattsburgh Planner Trevor Cole said, but this is a chance to better use renewable energy locally.
"The Solarize the Adirondack Coast campaign will provide individual residents and small-business owners with a financial incentive to power their own homes and businesses with clean energy from the sun," he said in a press release.
Although the covered communities are listed as the towns of Plattsburgh, Altona and Saranac, applications can come from anywhere in Clinton County and northern Essex County.
Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Michael Cashman said the program supports and encourages renewable-energy use in the Town of Plattsburgh and beyond, one of the goals of the town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
"I am excited to work in collaboration with the communities located in the Adirondack Coast to enable households to connect with the power of solar," he said.
Adirondack North Country Association Executive Director Kate Fish said development of clean-energy programs is one of that group's goals.
"Clean-energy businesses in New York state anticipate growing more than 6 percent this year, more than double the rate of growth in U.S. economy in 2015," she said.
"ANCA is thrilled to support two local solar companies as the selected installers for the Solarize the Adirondack Coast program.
"Apex Solar and Triangle Electric have a strong presence in the North Country and are responsible for multiple solar conversions across the North Country. We look forward to watching them grow in the coming months."
Next up is a kickoff workshop, with representatives of the two installation firms expected to make a presentation for interested members of the public.
It is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the Stafford Center atrium at Clinton Community College.
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