CASTLE CREEK, NY – A new solar array has opened in Castle Creek that could alleviate some of the burden presented by high electric bills.
As NewsChannel 34’s James Atherlay shows us, good will by land owners could mean relief for many.
Michael Kennedy activated the large solar plant yesterday to applause from all those in attendance.
Kennedy, grandson of Robert F Kennedy, and Vice President of Business Development for the Citizens Energy Corporation, says Broome County is just the latest, and hopefully not the last, area Citizens Energy helps.
“We’ve done some work in California, in the Imperial Valley, which is a disadvantaged community there. This JOE 4 SUN program is active in New York, it’s active in Massachusetts,” said Kennedy.
The future consumers can sign up for the JOE 4 SUN program to get sizable discounts on their electric bills by as much as 20%.
Southern Tier Solar Works Director of Clean Energy Programs Adam Flint says Broome County’s first large solar array will deliver not only savings, but will help the economy as well.
“It’s also one of the biggest job and economic drivers in the country. Solar alone has a quarter of a million people plus working in it. 12 thousand just in this state,” says Flint.
The family that currently owns the property says they’re thrilled to help the community in such a large way.
“It’s really a landlocked piece of land, so there was nothing we could do with it, so when this opportunity came up, we were very happy,” said Property Owner Marie Lamb.
Lamb and her husband Steve received a call from Citizens Energy about 4 years ago, and that was what got the ball rolling on this massive project.
Flint says the plant will be very economical because the source of power is free.
“That’s the fuel, right up there. Why I’m squinting. It’s actually extremely economical. And so it’s possible to offer these deep discounts when you have large scale systems,” said Flint.
Kennedy says he hopes other towns, counties, and states soon follow suit.
Homeowners interested in signing up for the JOE 4 SUN Program must be NYSEG customers.
They can apply for the program online here.