April 1, 2016
Perhaps you’ve seen the signs in and around Canton, and wondered what “Solarize Canton” was all about. A cloudy, cold winter day is not the best time to be inspired by prospects of solar energy, but the meeting held in Canton in mid-January was intent on doing just that. The focus of the meeting was recent New York State legislation to foster “community net-metering” - which could open a new avenue for homeowners, businesses, and other organizations to support solar energy installations.
This is a step beyond the current “Solarize Canton” project that was aimed at getting roof-top panels on homes. The result of that project, to date, is 26 installations in the Village of Canton, and 10 more outside. The bundling of these small-scale units made it easier to get good prices and to ensure quality work. The project was never limited to Canton, but was led by the Canton Sustainability Committee. Carol Gable, chair of that committee, is gratified by the results, enough so to look toward what can come next.
That next step could be the opportunity to construct bigger solar farms that would be shared by many “off-takers” - people who contract to purchase the solar power from the project. This makes solar energy available to those who don’t want roof-top arrays, or who can’t for issues such as shaded roofs, limited roof area, or because they are renters - among other reasons. The solar panels could be located far from the participants. This is all still very new to New York, and Canton hopes to be setting a model for future developments of this kind. Keep an eye on how this effort is progressing, or better yet, contact them to join in the program. If you want to know more about “community net-metering” you can go to www.solarizecanton.com or see the online article Inside New York’s aggressive new community shared renewables program.
Apr 1, 2016: Solarize