The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on June 7 said it is partnering with Westchester County, N.Y. to develop and implement solar photovoltaic and energy storage systems at seven county-owned properties.
Those properties include bus garages, the Westchester County Courthouse and Hilltop Hanover Farm, NYPA noted.
The projects were highlighted on June 7 at a Westchester County and NYPA-hosted Clean Energy Forum at NYPA’s White Plains headquarters where local municipalities and school districts learned about available energy services and clean energy alternatives.
The new solar projects and renewable energy and financing services for municipalities offered at the forum support New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a clean energy and jobs agenda that strives to achieve 100 percent clean electricity by 2040, NYPA said.
NYPA said it is increasing its investments in clean energy resources to spark more renewable energy projects at public facilities across the state. Numerous projects are currently in the development stages or underway to bring more solar arrays to state and municipal facilities.
NYPA issued a public solicitation seeking proposals for a total 8 MW of distributed solar capacity with the ability to incorporate energy storage at multiple county-owned facilities. For these projects, the county and NYPA conducted preliminary assessments to identify the most feasible and appropriate locations to install solar PV systems.
The project sites include county-owned buildings, and involve rooftop, ground-mounted, and parking lot canopy solar installation technologies.
In addition, NYPA and the county requested through the solicitation, energy storage systems at several project sites to support a multitude of applications including demand charge reduction and peak load shaving.
The solicitation closed on May 21 and the responses received are under evaluation. NYPA and the county anticipate selecting a developer and awarding the project this summer with construction expected to start in 2020.
NYPA is supporting Westchester County by reviewing and evaluating proposals, negotiating the contract terms and administering the power purchase agreement execution and project installation phases. The array will be owned, operated and maintained by the developer and the electricity sold to the county or NYPA through the established agreement. Adding a storage system component would offset the county’s reliance on the electric grid and store power for use during emergencies and times of peak electricity demand.
The county and NYPA have plans for possible future solar growth to include additional sites such as Westchester County Airport, waste water treatment plants and possibly landfills within the county.
The Westchester solar initiative follows on the recently announced $250 million Westchester Clean Energy Action Plan, which will provide immediate relief to Westchester County businesses and residents affected by Con Edison’s decision to suspend new natural gas connections.
As part of the plan, NYPA has earmarked $32 million in low-cost financing services for its Westchester customers to pursue clean energy alternatives and retrofit heating systems where possible.