State-Backed Community Solar Project Goes Online In Western N.Y.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Montante Solar have announced completion of one of the first community solar projects in Western New York. According to NYSERDA, the 99 kW solar installation at the Riverview Solar Technology Park will help New York meet Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 50% by 2030 clean energy standard.

As the agency explains, community solar projects enable multiple residents and small business owners to subscribe to buy a portion of the energy produced by an off-site solar array. Subscribers receive credit on their individual monthly electric bills for the power the array produces.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA, says, “This project is a great example of how Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is bringing new and greater energy choices, including solar power, to consumers across the state. We congratulate Montante Solar for their commitment to advancing Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy goals that will create healthier communities across New York.”

The project was designed and constructed by Montante Solar, a Buffalo, N.Y.-owned and -operated solar developer. NYSERDA says the roof-mounted solar array is located at 600 Riverwalk Pkwy, Tonawanda, in the Riverview Solar Technology Park, New York’s first solar-ready business park. The business park acts as a living solar lab, where the future of solar technology is tested and implemented to improve energy efficiency and energy production for all tenants.

Montante says the community solar array, comprised of 360 solar panels, is nearly fully subscribed. The solar system will provide environmental benefits and cost savings to tenants in the park and in the surrounding community.

“Community solar offers the benefits of solar to community members, including renters who cannot, or prefer not to, install solar panels on their homes or businesses,” says Daniel Montante, president of Montante Solar. “These projects have the potential to be a cornerstone of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision. We couldn’t be more proud to be laying the tracks that will lead Western New York to a renewable energy future.”

NYSERDA says the project was supported through NY-Sun, Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, NYSDERA adds, solar in the state has increased nearly 800% and leveraged nearly $1.5 billion in private investments. There are more than 8,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.

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