Town of Richland Installs Solar PV with Clean Energy Community Grant Funds
The Town of Richland today announced the installation of a solar PV array at the Town Water Building to offset municipal electric use. The project completed thanks to funding under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Communities program, is expected to save the Town roughly $3,200 per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11.4 metric tons annually.
The Town was designated a Clean Energy Community on June 20, 2017, for completing four high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. The designation gave Richland the opportunity to apply for $50,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share. The Town used these funds for the solar PV array.
“I believe that each of us has a responsibility to do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to promote clean energy when and where it makes good sense. With the assistance from NYSERDA, the Town of Richland was able to take advantage of this opportunity to install solar panels to save our local taxpayers real dollars on our utility costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Daniel Krupke, Town Supervisor.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Addressing the impacts of climate change takes consistent and continued action, and we applaud the Town of Richland for its ongoing efforts. By embracing clean, renewable energy, the Town has committed to improving the environment, saving its residents money, and ensuring a healthier future.”
To date, the Town has completed the following high-impact actions:
- Streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit.
- Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for the municipal code enforcement officer.
- Converted cobra head-style streetlights to energy-efficient LED technology
- Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the Town’s municipal buildings
- Shared benchmarking data on the energy use of municipal buildings with NYSERDA
Announced in January 2021, the second phase of the Clean Energy Communities (CEC) initiative, the $17 million CEC Leadership Round supports and recognizes local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable development projects in their communities. Achievements by Clean Energy Communities help support New York’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals as outlined under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Communities that complete at least four NYSERDA-identified high-impact actions are designated Clean Energy Communities and are eligible for a Designation Grant, currently available at $5,000 each. This grant is just one of the many exciting grant opportunities offered through the Clean Energy Communities Leadership Round. Other grant opportunities include action grants of up to $50,000 for adopting the NYStretch Energy Code or up to $60,000 for undertaking one or more clean energy Community Campaigns; a point-based grant system where communities become eligible for larger grant amounts; and grants where a New York State Disadvantaged Community may be eligible for an additional $10,000 bonus grant on a grant of $20,000 or more.
Eligible city, town, village, and county governments may apply for grants on a rolling basis, until December 31, 2025, or until funds are exhausted. Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Clean Energy Community Coordinators are available at no charge to help communities develop and prioritize clean energy goals, access easy-to-use resources such as guidance documents and case studies and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.
The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) provided assistance to Richland as regional coordinator. The CNY RPDB is available to provide similar assistance to other municipalities in CNY that wish to pursue any of the high-impact actions. Please contact Amanda Mazzoni, Principal Planner in the Energy Program, at 315-422-8276 x1215 for more information.