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Solar panels power savings at Greater Rochester airport

ROCHESTER, NY – Solar panels installed on the roof of the Greater Rochester International Airport terminal building are expected to save the Monroe County Airport Authority more than $640,000 in electricity expenses.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced the new energy initiative at the airport Thursday morning, but the 50,000 square feet of solar panels have been operational for about a month.

“It means the airport will be able to operate with reduced expenses,” Brooks said.

Over 25 years, the panels are expected to save $641,929. The project cost $500,000, but it was paid for with a state grant and with money from the Monroe County Airport Authority’s renewal and replacement fund, which is financed by the airlines.

“It is very gratifying to see that public facilities are showing their interest in environmental stewardship and forward thinking by investing in solar,” said Nathan Rizzo, vice president of Solar Liberty Energy Systems Inc., the contractor that installed the panels.

The panels will produce about 94,000 kilowatt hours of power per year, the equivalent of the amount used to power14 average homes, county officials said.

The panels are expected to reduce the airport’s carbon footprint by 68 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

That’s equal to the emissions from about 7,000 gallons of gasoline used.

Democrat and Cronicle
By Bennett J. Loudon