Powermarket – Manages Green Street Community Solar
Partners With Community Groups
By Edie Johnson
If you took a walk or drive down Riley Road in New Windsor, you might or you might not notice that downhill and behind two mature tree lines there are several gated entrances to nearly a mile of fields. The fields are full of solar grids for a New Windsor Community Solar Project. The developer has possibly followed the most stringent and environmentally friendly guidelines in the solar industry, at least in this area. While most of us who have a financial benefit one way or another from solar panels and thus see a particular beauty in them, we don’t see them as beautiful when they’re in the middle of a pristine country scene.
This Solar development, managed through a partnership between Nick Boudouin of Powermarket in this area, and Nina Orville in Westchester, was developed by Green Street Solar. Westchester is “under the gun” so to speak since they recently voted a natural gas pipeline moratorium. Residents are getting increasingly hungry for solar relief on their utility bill. Negative attitudes toward gas pipelines and use of fossil fuels are gaining momentum here as well. The largest in this area is the Green Street Array. It can supply electric power to 758 homes, each of which benefits by a guaranteed discount of TEN PERCENT on their regular utility bill with Central Hudson. Meanwhile the signer does not have to deal with unsightly roof installations or yard grids.
Nick emphasized that he and his partner “want to give back to the community.” The way they plan to do that is to partner with community groups. For instance; one nature group forwarded the solar information to its members and made $1,000 of donations for their group by 100 members signing up. It then becomes a community partnership with Nick and Nina doing the footwork of keeping the operation running smoothly throughout the life of the project. As a result, Nick and Nina give back to the community. As the project progresses they will add more community groups.
Both Powermarket and Green Street are eager to get this project up and running. It is 100% ready and the solar panels will be operational 4 weeks after the 700th subscriber signs their contract. Having filled almost 100 in just a few weeks they hope to have their 700th subscriber by June 1 and start up the grid on July 1. There is no down payment, no monthly bill other than the regular Central Hudson bill with 10% off, and the ability to opt out in the future if so desired.
NOTE: You do NOT have to live in New Windsor to sign. Participants are only limited by being utility customers of Central Hudson. Powermarket has been operating already for 5 years and is 100% employee-owned and funded by the Department of Energy. See more at http://www.OurCommunitySolar.com.
Caption: Nearly a mile of solar panel grids stretch in fields behind wooded areas on Riley Road, barely visible to the passerby. (Photos provided)