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New Solar Generated Wattage for Blooming Grove/Washingtonville?

New Solar Generated Wattage for Blooming Grove/Washingtonville?

By Eugenia Moskowitz

The Village of Washingtonville, parts of the Town of Blooming Grove, and the hamlet of Salisbury Mills may be the beneficiaries of Orange and Rockland’s attempts to build a micro-grid in the area.

O&R said it wants to be able to maintain reliable service to its 5,125 customers (most residential, some commercial/industrial) in the areas served by its Blooming Grove substation located on Round Hill Road by putting up niches of solar panels and solar’s associated fuel cells, batteries, and other equipment, to the tune of 17 megawatts produced energy. O&R is seeking proposals for partnership from companies that deal in solar matters to do this.

This as-of-yet undecided-upon solar partner would function as a micro-grid in the event of main power outage, which answers the question of whether O&R would consider building new infrastructure. As of now, a micro-grid seems to be the best solution going forward, an O&R spokesperson said. What works so well about it, he elaborated, is that, as seen in the diagram, there is no giant solar array which takes up a large area but rather small caches of solar panels and a variety of different mechanisms and associated pieces of power components, such as batteries and cells, spread out over an area, all to be operated by the solar-specialized partner company.

Micro-grids are small in scale yet big in power, which is exactly the kind of power source that would work in Blooming Grove, the spokesperson said.

CAPTION: A diagram of a typical solar micro-grid. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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