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Monroe County Looks to Install Major Solar Panel Project in Greece

Original story By Cristina Domingues from Time Warner News Rochester NY

Watch the Time Warner News report here.

MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. — County Executive Maggie Brooks wants approval from legislators to create a solar panel project she said would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Several companies were considered, but the county went with one it said already has a track record in town.

If it gets all the approval necessary, part of the largest solar panel installation in Upstate New York will be built at Northwest Quadrant Treatment Plant in Greece.

“Youcouldn’t have done a project of this magnitude 10 years ago, but now the costs have come down to the point where we can invest in thus type of technology and really offset costs,” said Brooks.

County Executive Maggie Brooks will ask the legislature to consider the project with Solar Liberty that has other done other projects for the county including at the airport. Solar Liberty would install 42,000 solar panels on 40 acres of land at the treatment plant in Greece and at the Gloria Drive Landfill in Penfield that would generate 13 megawatts of power.

Monroe County would pay nothing in installation costs. It would lease the land to Solar Liberty, buy the electricity generated from the sites and sell it back to RG&E. It’s all expected to yield $366,000 a year that would go to offset the $15 million the county currently spends in energy costs.

In all, Brooks said it would save $7.3 million in taxpayer money over the 20-year life of the project.

“The money that comes into the general fund from this project will got to offset energy costs in other buildings like the Hall of Justice and some of the other facilities we provide. It’s saving money for taxpayers and offsetting costs for the county. But this is truly the capstone to a 12-year commitment to going green in this community, which is important,” said Brooks.

Solar Liberty hopes to be fully operational by the end of next year.