Earth Matters: Hey! Where is my solar community?
by Susan Hellauer
I was counting the weeks, even days, until my share of Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R) power supply was clean and green, fed directly to the grid by a new community solar farm in County of Orange. But . . . not so fast.
Community solar farm subscribers who made their way to our O&R service area learned from a recent email that construction on the project, which should have already been well underway, has been postponed until the fall.
The solar panel is expected to be built in the town of Wawayanda, Orange County, New York, to serve O&R electrical customers who register as participants. Why are you late? This is to “ensure that all stakeholders, including local and state agencies, have had sufficient time to review and provide feedback on the project,” according to the June 7 email from. Nexamp, Inc., the builder and operator of the project based in Massachusetts.
Where’s my solar power !?
The new schedule means that the 1 megawatt solar panel would be connected to the O&R grid by ‘end of winter’ in 2019, and registered subscribers would start receiving discounted credits for their power supply at that time- there – a 10% guaranteed. below O&R rate – for at least the first 20 of the 25 years of project life. Nexamp’s email told O&R customers who have already reserved a share of the solar farm that those shares are insured and that they and the town of Wawayanda “remain absolutely committed to this project and bringing our community solar program in the Hudson Valley ”.
It’s no surprise that the wheels of government bureaucracy spin slowly or get a little stuck from time to time. So, to be reassured, Earth Matters reached out to Eric Misbach, Nexamp’s community solar project manager, about the O&R project delay. Misbach pointed out that Nexamp, which has 25 community solar projects operational in New England and New York, is now complete a project outside of Ithaca, NY, and is totally confident that the O&R solar farm will also be completed: “The timing is a bit out of date, but this is happening, and there will be community solar power available in Orange counties. and Rockland. The Nexamp subscription model, with no upfront fees, is here to stay, ”said Misbach.
Community Solar: Are you in?
Until now, New Yorkers who wanted clean electric power had few options. If you have a sunny roof at a right angle, solar panels are the solution; they even have no up-front options for tight budgets.
No sunny roof or no home of your own? If you pay for electricity – residential, commercial, or non-profit – you can now participate in community solar power. He supports New York State Reforming the energy vision (REV), and will actually reduce your electric bill by 10% without any scary contract clauses or equipment to install.
But the local community solar “farm” being built in Orange County by alternative energy provider Nexamp, has so much green power to circulate, and there isn’t much left to do, so if you want, you’ll want to join now.
Some electricity customers inclined to green are already buying renewable energy credits (RECs) from companies such as Green Mountain or Arcadia who, in turn, buy these credits from wind farms across the country. But most of their energy sources – and the grids they serve – are far from our neighborhood, so they don’t replace the fossil fuel used to create the electricity you actually use, on your own grid. And western wind farms are not contributing to New York State’s ambitious clean energy goal of 50% renewable energy sources by 2030.
Nexamp community solar: how it works for you
The Nexamp / O&R Community Solar Park is a subscription model that can accommodate up to 300 participants or “members”. A federal tax credit – locked in for the 25-year life of the project (regardless of occupant of the Oval Office) – plus a NYSERDA program and other New York State incentives – allows Nexamp build the project and share it with individual participants at a discount, while recouping their initial investment in the project over time.
Community solar projects provide participants with clean solar energy delivered directly to their local electricity grid. Nexamp projects offer a guaranteed 10% discount for 20 years.
What they don’t offer is also important: no registration fees, no income requirement, no credit checks, no “escalation” clauses. And members can exit the program with 90 days notice without asking the provider questions.
Register Now: Hold On To The Sun
You can learn more about participating in Nexamp’s O&R Community Solar Program and sign up for your first-come, first-served sharing. on their website.
- Read last December Interview with Earth Matters with the folks at Community Solar from Nexamp, for all the details on the O&R solar farm, and community solar in general – how it works, where it’s heading and how they can deliver a 10% discount on your own electricity and green.
- Nexamp solar energy solutions website
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