A Library Uses Cutting-edge Solar Energy in New York State

Cutting-Edge Solar EnergyThe Town of Esopus Library in the Hudson River Valley has installed cutting-edge solar technology to save energy and save dollars. The Library is becoming a place to check out renewable energy as well as books.

“We’re hoping to be a place to come to learn about renewable energy,” said Library Director Kelly Tomaseski. “We think that people will be more likely to invest in a similar project if they can see it in practice.”

The Library used an award of over $96,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act to finance this project. This is part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) plan to improve energy efficiency in New York State.

Solar energy and saving money

The project was installed by Solar Liberty. They used a combination of ground-mounted and roof-mounted photovoltaic panels which will supply 30% of the Library’s electricity. In total, the solar panels will generate approximately 31,200 kWh of electricity every year.

The costs savings are estimated to be $4,000 every year.

“It’s important to demonstrate that solar energy is a viable way to power a building,” said Adam Rizzo, president of Solar Liberty. “Community centers, nonprofit buildings and schools are especially important for promoting solar energy… This project proves to business people and homeowners that a solar panel system gives a strong return on investment in New York State.”

Progressive planning

The Town of Esopus has always been keen to go green and decrease their carbon footprint. The Esopus Town Hall has a 77.22kW ground-mounted photovoltaic system, a project which also benefitted from NYSERDA.

The Library was designed so that solar panels could be installed when they became cost-effective. This forward planning is helping the town become much more energy efficient.

Local economy

Installing solar energy systems benefits the economy too. The 96 230 watt Sharp® photovoltaic panels were made in Memphis, Tennessee. And local labor was used to install them.

Solar Liberty’s president Mr. Rizzo explained how the company benefits the local economy. “We use a local warehouse, local transportation companies, and our suppliers for copper wire, ballast blocks, and other components come from Upstate New York. Recently, we began manufacturing our own solar panel racking system at a local facility. It’s a 100% locally-made product.”

“Our goal is to cover New York State with solar panels,” Rizzo concluded.

Sources used in researching this article include NYSERDA: Library Patrons ‘Check-out’ Solar Energy

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