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Waddington could see solar panels up by spring

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WADDINGTON – Some of the town’s buildings could be running on solar power by spring.

Town Council members approved a plan in November to install panels that would power the highway garage, library, street lights, and municipal building.

Town council member and Energy Working Group Committee Chairman Shaun Prentice said Monday that the project is already in the hands of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for approval.

“NYSERDA received the application on Jan. 2,” Mr. Prentice said. “The application takes about four to eight weeks to be approved.”

In the meantime, board members said they will reach out to the village of Dexter in Jefferson County and the town of Norfolk – which also have applications in the works - to work on purchasing materials, such as panels and invertors.

“If we go to a vendor and they are looking for pricing, they can go with three municipalities and vie for better rates,” Mr. Prentice said.

The photovoltaic system will be funded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. NYSERDA rebates $1.50 per watt up to 50,000 watts per system.

Fourth Coast Inc. of Clayton estimated that NYSERDA could pay up to $228,300 for the $716,000 project. The estimated payback of the project is 13 years.

The project will be funded through the village and town.

“We could look into other avenues of funding such as the [St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency] and other grants that are available,” Mr. Prentice said. “The timing is really good. We could reach an interconnect agreement with National Grid by springtime.”

The installation of the project could be done mostly by in-kind and in-house services, Mr. Prentice said.

“Those things are not difficult to put together,” Highway Department Superintendent Robert Dalton said.

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