The Avon Central School District has completed New York’s largest public school solar project to date. Located at 245 Clinton St. in Avon, the 1.5 MW off-site, ground-mounted solar array is expected to save the district $1.6 million over 25 years. The project uses remote net metering and was supported with approximately $564,000 in incentives from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.
“New York State is leading the way in developing clean energy alternatives to help communities lower costs and reduce their carbon footprint,” says Cuomo, in a press release. “This project is another example of how we are taking action to preserve our environment and create a cleaner and greener New York.”
WGL Energy Systems developed and will own the solar array. The school district paid no upfront costs and will pay a fixed rate for the project’s energy produced under a under a 25-year power purchase agreement. In addition, the Avon Central School District is working with WGL to design a curriculum around the solar project and its educational components.
“Avon Central School District is extremely excited about the educational, environmental and financial benefits that will be achieved over the next 25 years with the installation of this project,” says Avon Superintendent of Schools Aaron Johnson.
Notably, the Avon Central School District, a rural district that has 1,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12, was an early solar adopter; the district has had a small (5.5 kW) solar array on two school rooftops since 2008.
According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the agency’s funding has helped over 90 public school districts and private schools complete solar projects in the state. In addition, 318 school districts have registered for K-Solar, a public-private partnership between the New York Power Authority and NYSERDA in collaboration with competitively selected private-sector solar developers.