SunEdison, Inc. the largest global renewable energy development company, recently announced that it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Watervliet, New York for close to 1 megawatt DC of solar power. The solar power will be used in all city-owned buildings, including City Hall, the fire station and the library. The agreement with SunEdison is expected to save Watervliet taxpayers more than $1 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.
“SunEdison solar power is a great way for cities across the U.S. to reduce their exposure to rising utility rates,” said Steve Raeder, SunEdison’s regional general manager of its Eastern U.S. solar business. “We’re delighted to work with Watervliet to help them save money while advancing their sustainability initiatives. And, because we’ve installed hundreds of solar systems for municipal customers across America, we know how to do it quickly and cost effectively.”
“As Mayor, I make it a priority to pursue all efficient, safe and affordable measures to save taxpayers money–now and into the future,” said City of Watervliet Mayor Michael Manning. “With the rising cost of energy, the agreement with SunEdison is expected to save the city more than $1 million. It is a perfect example of looking outside the box and creating new initiatives that will save residents money and make us good stewards of our environment.”
SunEdison will supply the city with solar power through a state-wide program in New York called “remote net metering” which allows customers to enjoy the savings and environmental benefits of solar even if they are unable install a system on site. The solar system is built in the same region as the customer, and the customer receives the solar farm’s energy output as a credit on their monthly electricity bill.
The City of Watervliet was advised by Solomon Energy, a company that works with municipalities to identify opportunities for low or no-cost solar power to reduce and stabilize energy costs and to avoid future budgetary problems due to an extreme increase in energy cost.
“With no capital cost to the City and savings starting from day one, this solar power purchase agreement is a win-win for Watervliet,” said Jeffrey Conrad, President of Solomon Energy. “The remote net metering agreement could save the City more than $1 million, money that they can use on more important things like public safety and economic investment.”
The solar power comes from an 868 kilowatt DC solar system which is expected to generate enough clean electricity each year to offset more than 83 percent of the city’s electricity usage for city-owned buildings. The system should also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 11 million pounds over the 20-year period–the equivalent to the annual amount of carbon sequestered by more than 4,000 acres of U.S. forest.
SunEdison intends to start and complete construction for the project in 2016. Operation and maintenance of the solar system will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global asset management, monitoring and reporting services.