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Waddington considers solar power

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WADDINGTON — The town is looking to cut back on its electricity bills.

Robert J. Campany, co-founder of Fourth Coast Inc., Clayton, presented a proposal on the benefits of solar power to the Town Council on Tuesday.

The proposal includes panels that would power the highway garage, library, streetlights and municipal building.

“This is by no means cast in stone,” Mr. Campany said. “The town would first need to decide how much electrical usage they want to offset, and then how you would want to finance your local share.”

While the total cost of the project is yet to be determined, net-metering eventually would offset installation costs, Mr. Campany said.

“Any time you make more energy than you need, you receive a credit from National Grid,” Mr. Campany said. If enough power is stored, it can be shared through several buildings.

“There are a lot of different installation options ranging from roof mounting to ground mounting that also range in cost,” Mr. Campany said.

The town also can apply for an New York State Energy Research and Development Authority incentive, which can cover about $1.50 per watt in the first year. But the program’s incentives are dropping with the increase in popularity, Mr. Campany said.

“Initially, the NYSERDA incentive was at $5 a watt. Now it is at $1.50. But equipment costs and module costs have dropped in place of that. It used to cost $1,000 per module and now it is a little over $200,” Mr. Campany said. “But the faster you apply for the incentive, the better, because more people are starting to take use of the incentive program.”

Once the town applies for a NYSERDA grant, it will have about five months to install the panels.

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