The campaign had just begun in June and already in the first week of August has reached the goal of 10 houses total. According to the Apex #Solar Inc., website, “The 30% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit was set to expire on December 31, 2016 but got extended by Congress for 5 years!” With the expansion of this tax credit there has been much to gain from all ends of the spectrum. Homeowners, installers, manufacturers and power companies alike, all have much to gain from involvement in solar energy.
Despite the fact that it is the largest solar campaign sponsored by Apex, the only one close to this size led to 50 new solar power users. While the goal of the campaign was to have these homeowners getting solar assessments by Apex Solar or Solar Liberty by the end of October and their contracts signed by December 1, the full goal of the campaign has already been met.
According to Kathleen Moore at The Post Star, “They wanted 10 homeowners in Queensbury to install solar for their property. So far, 13 have signed contracts for solar power, and another eight have signed up outside the town… They are now on track to hit 30 new solar power users by the end of the month, said Brent McDevitt, sales director at Apex Solar.” If he gets 30 new solar users by the end of the month, he said, he would be truly pleased. “That’s 30 homes not doing things with dirty fuel,” he said. “Thirty’s a lot.”
But within the Southern Adirondack for Solar (SAS) Campaign there is much to be seen in how far they have come in the signing of solar contracts and installation of systems in two months alone. There is much more to the future of this campaign, including the addition of discounted solar power in other localities of the Adirondacks including:
- City of Glens Falls
- Town of Hague
- Town of Bolton
- Town of Lake George
- Town of Horicon
- Town of Warrensburg
- Town of Chester
- Village of Lake George
With many homeowners, primarily in Glens Falls, having slate roofs there will be the need for ground-mounted systems because solar panels cannot attach to slate. There are various options and McDevitt and the campaign leaders are working to meet the requests of homeowners wherever they would like to install their systems for greatest efficiency. With the hope of gaining more Glens Falls residents to purchase solar there is much work left to be done on the remains of the extended campaign. Supposedly only a “couple” of locals in each of the other towns have signed up, with Queensbury having the most.
Queensbury’s Clean #Energy Community (CEC) Committee has coordinated the campaign, entitled Southern Adirondacks for Solar. The focus is to ease the financial investment of solar power for local homeowners while increasing the level of clean energy produced in the area. So, residential and commercial solar consumers who join the program from May to October of this year will gain solar power rates below the market prices.
“The Southern Adirondacks for Solar Solarize Campaign is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative. NY-Sun will invest up to $1 billion in solar power through 2023 to significantly expand solar installations across the State, ultimately transforming New York’s solar industry to become self-sustaining.”4
The solar installation company is also in Queensbury, having participated in 24 other New York Solarize campaigns. While NYSERDA supports the campaigns it also works to make installation and implementation of solar systems easier for all buildings, residential and commercial. Working to gain everyone the best pricing, these campaigns help to lower the cost of solar power up to 20%.
“I’m feeling very good about it,” said Town Board member Catherine Atherden, who is on the Clean Energy Committee. That committee is running the campaign for the region.
“I think it’s been a good education for the public,” she added.1
The CEC committee is already planning for the future beyond the completion of the campaign, potentially community solar installed more broadly for those who can’t afford the upgrade at all. The next steps are hopeful for Queensbury and the other communities of the Southern Adirondacks. With the ability of Apex Solar to install these systems year-round, the potential for the ever-growing results of this campaign are not at risk. Even if locals wait until the end of the campaign to sign up in October they will still be able to get reduced prices and have their systems, roof or ground-mounted, installed by the end of the program.