WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey January 27, 2020 UPDATED JANUARY 28, 2020:
Mayor Thomas Roach, the solar pioneer in Westchester County, announced to the Common Council at their work session Monday evening an agreement with Distributed Solar Projects LLC, a spinoff company of General Electric Solar for installation of solar panels on 8 city-owned buildings and facilities.
The city released details on the agreement Tuesday morning. The agreement, pending Common Council approval is for 26 years with payments to the city of $960,000 per year, a total of $25 Million over the life of the agreement. The panels are installed by Distributed Solar Projects at no cost to the city. All eight installations are expected to be completed in March, 2021. The annual fee paid to the city will be used to “advance additional sustainability initiatives, facilities and infrastructure in the city.” Distributed Solar Projects pays for all maintenance of the facility.
WPCNR believes this is the first such municipal solar panel site lease of city-owned property in the county. The Mayor introduced the historic deal, completed in about one year this way:
The Mayor introduced Commissioner of Public Works Richard Hart who explained the process by which the properties were selected:
Mayor Roach added that the city has another program that is reaching out to commercial property owners who might wish to include solar panels on the roofs of their properties.
In a news release from the Mayor’s office, the city reported
“The community solar model produces solar energy that goes back to the grid and allows residents who enroll in the program to receive a credit on their bill every month. This program is expected to generate approximately 6 megawatts of power annually which is enough energy to power 4,800 homes per year. This equates to a reduction of 46,400 tons of carbon dioxide which is equivalent to removing 8,900 passenger cars from the road.”
Mayor Roach issued this statement: “As most people have come to recognize, we are in a climate crisis. It is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to reduce our reliance on carbon-based fuels. I am pleased to see the solar program move forward. It is the culmination of hard work on the part of our staff and a commitment on the part of our administration to institute a program that is not only environmentally beneficial, provides a community benefit to the taxpayers as well.”