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N.Y. Power Authority Helps City Install Solar Atop Ice Rink

 ice skates

Photo Courtesy: Solar Industry Mag
Joseph Bebon
August 1, 2017

The New York Power Authority (NYPA), in partnership with the City of Buffalo, N.Y., has completed a 40 kW rooftop solar system that is bringing clean, renewable power to the city’s community center campus.

NYPA says the solar array, which will help lower energy costs and reduce the municipality’s carbon footprint, helps to achieve Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s clean energy goal to double New York State’s solar capacity from 800 MW today to more than 1.6 GW by the end of 2018. The agency adds that the project is also yet another recent deliverable under the governor’s BuildSmartNY program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings.

The solar PV system was funded and implemented by NYPA and marks the agency’s first solar project with the City of Buffalo. It was installed on the roof of the Timothy J. Burvid Ice Rink in South Buffalo and will also provide power to the Tosh Collins Community Center and Cazenovia Pool. The $140,000 project, which will generate an estimated 40,000 kWh of clean energy each year, is expected to save the city roughly $5,000 on its annual energy bills by offsetting a portion of the complex’s electric load.

“The Power Authority is stepping up its energy efficiency efforts statewide and carrying out hundreds of millions of dollars in projects – and this is the first of its kind for the City of Buffalo,” says Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Our goal is to stimulate smart energy practices by our customers, while actively encouraging other entities to employ renewable technologies that will both protect the environment and improve their bottom line.”

“Solar Power is coming to South Buffalo,” says Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Cazenovia Park is a family favorite for many of our residents citywide. I am pleased to see these improvements being made to help the environment that will lower energy costs about $5,000 annually for our city. I thank the New York Power Authority for its partnership with my administration to help us reach our goal of becoming one of the most eco-friendly cities in the country, thanks in part to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s BuildSmart NY program and our shared interest in increasing energy efficiency in our public buildings.”

The solar array was also supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which contributed $16,000 under Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.

“I applaud the city of Buffalo for its leadership in incorporating solar power into its building operations,” says Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “As local governments across the state choose cleaner, more affordable energy, all New Yorkers will benefit as we work together to advance Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading energy agenda.”

BuildSmartNY, launched by the governor in 2012, saves taxpayer dollars and creates thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To date, New Yorkers have saved tens of millions of dollars in utility costs under BuildSmartNY, according to NYPA.

NYPA notes it has completed additional solar projects in Buffalo, including a 750 kW array that was installed in partnership with the State University of New York at the University at Buffalo’s north campus in 2012. One of the largest solar power projects on any campus in the nation, the array produces enough electricity to power a nearby student housing complex. The agency also implemented a 250 kW rooftop array at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Military Road bus garage that was completed in 2012 and provides approximately 16% of the garage’s power needs.