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Array of light at Owens Corning

Solar project would be similar to town’s own vision now in the works

Representatives from Owens Corning, NYSERDA, Constellation and National Grid, along with Sen. Neil Breslin, cut the ribbon to celebrate the installation of the new solar generation project at Owens Corning in Delmar.

Representatives from Owens Corning, NYSERDA, Constellation and National Grid, along with Sen. Neil Breslin, cut the ribbon to celebrate the installation of the new solar generation project at Owens Corning in Delmar. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— “Clean, renewable business is good for the environment and good for New York businesses,” said state Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Bethlehem, who was also in attendance. “Through the NY-Sun initiative we will continue to create clean energy jobs and a more sustainable future for our state.”

According to Bethlehem town officials, about 50 percent of the project will be paid for through a NYSERDA grant. Owens Corning also entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Constellation and in exchange, the company will pay to build and maintain the system. National Grid also contributed about another $1 million in energy efficiency grants.

National Grid President Ken Daly said the utility is delighted to provide the company with “highly reliable” electric service and congratulated Owens Corning on its “environmental stewardship.”

Bethlehem Councilman Bill Reinhardt represented the town at the ceremony, along with Deputy Supervisor and Planning Board member John Smolinsky.

Reinhardt said he was excited to see Owens Corning’s solar project come to fruition because the town has applied for funds in order to complete a similar project on town property.

“If this project is successful, it could be seen as a precedent to help our application get approved,” he said.

In August, the town approved a resolution to sign a letter of intent with Borrego Solar to develop the town’s clay mine site on Bridge Street in Selkirk.

The town has a project application submitted to NYSERDA for funding. Borrego Solar would grant additional financing, so the town would incur no capital costs. The thought is for the town to target underutilized land to generate energy credits for a large energy consumer, like the water treatment facility.

If the application were approved, the town would need to enter into an easement agreement and power purchase agreement with Borrego.

Erik Deyoe, the town’s commissioner of public works, said he believes the solar panels would not be viewable from the street and many people would forget the power generation system was there once the project was complete. The plan would need to go through an environmental impact review.

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