Solar Farms Break Ground in Spencer; Will Serve Over 1,700 Homeowners
By: Solar Farms NY
The farms, which are being built on three properties owned by the Pasto family, will generate enough electricity to power over 1,700 homes. Members of the farms can enjoy savings from solar electricity without having to install rooftop panels.
The groundbreaking is scheduled for December 1 at 10 am at 350 Van Etten Road, one of the properties where solar panels are being erected. Homeowners who wish to join the solar farms can bring their utility bills to the ceremony and receive help in enrolling.
"We are excited to have our family farms play such an important part in meeting New York State's goal to produce 50% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030," said Cris Pasto, one of the farm's owners. "After generations of growing different crops we are looking forward to harvesting New York sunshine."
Over 74,000 solar panels are being installed on the Pasto farms, said Jeffrey Mayer, CEO of Solar Farms New York, the company that is marketing the solar electricity to customers who live and work in the Southern Tier. Construction is expected to be completed this winter, he added.
According to Mayer, four hundred homeowners have already signed up under the community solar program sponsored by New York State and New York State Electricity and Gas Company. The Pasto farms are among 32 solar farms throughout the state which will begin to supply solar electricity to NYSEG in 2019.
"Our customers like the flexibility of joining a solar farm without installing expensive and sometimes unsightly rooftop panels," he said. "Unlike the 20 year commitment required for solar panels, our customers can cancel any time without penalty."
"We anticipate allocating all of our solar electricity production over the next few months, after which we will start putting customers on our Waiting List," Mayer said.
In addition to the groundbreaking, the Christian Activities Network (C.A.N.) has invited homeowners the Spencer Town Hall at 6:30 Friday evening, November 30, 81 East Tioga Street. Representatives of Solar Farms New York will be on hand to answer questions about community solar and to help sign up new customers for the farms.
Under New York's community solar program, the farms sell their electricity to NYSEG which will in turn put credits on customer bills. Customers will then pay Solar Farms New York for their electricity.
Solar Farms New York will bill customers 95% of the value of the credits they receive from NYSEG, resulting in a 5% savings on their solar credits.
Community solar farms are a rapidly expanding around the country, supported by utilities which have an easier time incorporating solar electricity into their grid when it is produced at a single location and not on hundreds of rooftops. Customers benefit too by avoiding high upfront costs, maintenance, and potential roof damage.
New York State has made solar farms a priority in meeting its ambitious 50% renewable energy goal by 2030.
Mayer pointed out that unlike rooftop panels, which help offset 30-50% of a household's electricity usage, solar farms can offset up to 100% of usage. "For homeowners that want to save money and make a material dent in fossil fuel emissions, community solar is a convenient and easy alternative,"
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Solar Farms New York markets solar electricity from 32 solar farms in upstate New York. Currently all of the solar production is sold to one utility, New York State Electric and Gas. Additional farms are expected to be built to meet demand from customers in Con Edison and National Grid territories. The company's sister company, Solar Farms Massachusetts, markets electricity to customers in eastern Massachusetts.
Solar Farms New York can be reached at its Albany number, 833-877-7632. Further information can be found at the company's website, www.SolarFarmsNY.com .