NORWICH (WBNG) — Solar Farms New York broke ground at one of the largest solar farms in New York State.
The ceremonial groundbreaking today marked what organizers say is part of the state’s push to make New York 100% renewable energy.
The facility covers 79 acres owned by the Evans family and consists of over 50,000 stationery panels on a slight rise that faces southwest.
When the solar farm is electrified all NYSEG customers who have subscribed to the farm will start saving money on renewable energy.
“Other counties where NYSEG is operating, you can also sign up for the Norwich farm. Right now Norwich is one of our fastest-growing areas, the project is here its local people drive by it every day,” Noah Siegel, the project manager said. “We’re getting a lot of folks signing up, we have over half the farm right now subscribed, but anyone in NYSEG territory can sign up.’
When connected to NYSEG’s grid the farm will produce 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and will offset 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Solar panels offset 12-times as much carbon as an acre of mature trees would absorb in a year.
Under New York’s community solar program, solar farms like the Norwich farm sell their electricity to NYSEG which then puts credits on customer bills.
Instead of paying the utility for their electricity, customers pay Solar Farms New York. Solar Farms New York will bill customers 95 percent of the value of the credits they receive from NYSEG, resulting in a 5 percent savings on their solar credits.
The community solar project will also benefit local governmental entities in the form of payments in lieu of property taxes. Approximately $1,415,000 will be paid to the Town of Norwich over the life of the project.
The Norwich project used local contractors, excavation and construction companies.