RER Energy Group and Key Partners Unveil City of Canandaigua’s Solar Installation
Reading, Pennsylvania – Reading, Pennsylvania-based RER Energy Group (RER) is preparing to mark the installation of a 4.1 MW combined photovoltaic solar array constructed on an old landfill and a nearby leased property in Canandaigua, New York. The city will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday May 25, 2017 from 11:00 AM until 1:30 PM. The event will begin at the Canandaigua Fire Station for short remarks and conclude with a brief drive to the solar project to officially commission the array.
“Our solar project is an endeavor City Council is very proud to see coming to fruition,” said Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni. “It will save the city money and make use of an area that would be difficult to transition to another use due to its history as a dump and transfer station.”
State Senator Pamela Helming, Senate District 54, also commented, “This solar project is a testament to the city, town, and private sector working together to maximize the use of this seemingly unusable land. Bringing this remarkable project to fruition is a win for our community and the environment, as it is expected to save Canandaigua millions of dollars while decreasing the city’s reliance on fossil fuels. I want to thank Mayor Polimeni and City Council for their leadership.”
The Canandaigua City Council’s Strategic Plan has included a goal of taking a leadership role with respect to using alternative energy sources to reduce the city’s impact on the environment. Upon closing the City Transfer Station and entering into a shared service agreement with the Town of Canandaigua to utilize this transfer facility, the city pursued the installation of a solar array on its old transfer station site. The city ultimately entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and site lease to purchase electricity from a large-scale ground mounted solar electric array on this property. To increase the benefits, the city leased adjacent property to build a larger system. As a result, 13,200T REC Group 315W solar modules and 89 Chint Power Systems 36kW solar inverters were installed for a 4,125 kilowatt DC system. The installation is expected to produce approximately 5,332,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year which is equivalent to the yearly electricity usage of approximately 578 homes or the yearly greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 824 passenger vehicles. This translates into 94% of all kWh used for non-street lighting electricity used by the city or 82% of the total electricity used by the city annually.
In addition, the City of Canandaigua recently received The New York Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officers (NYCOM) Local Government Achievement Award for their Solar Array project.
“This project is an example of how repurposing land and using alternative energy sources can reduce a city’s impact on the environment,” said U.S. New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. “I would like to thank the City of Canandaigua and their partnership with RER, Hunt Engineering, New Energy Equity and AEP Onsite for their leadership in making this possible. Because of you, 80% of the city’s electricity needs will be met through clean energy. This initiative is a step forward towards a clean energy future for New York State.”
New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref- Canandaigua) said, “This incredible solar project simultaneously improves the city’s environmental sustainability while attaining a welcome cost savings. The millions of dollars the city will save by harnessing available solar power will go a long way toward reducing energy costs. It’s extremely exciting to see the city move forward into the expanding alternative energy industry. I would like to congratulate all of those who helped develop this project and secure the necessary state funding to get it off the ground.”
“The new solar installation unveiled today will help the City of Canandaigua save an estimated $3.5 million of taxpayer dollars in a high-quality, innovative way,” said U.S. Congressman Chris Collins of U.S. Congressional District 27. “Today’s unveiling marks the start of a great partnership between the City of Canandaigua and their partners to help create jobs and lower energy costs for consumers.”
The system is owned by AEP OnSite Partners, LLC of Columbus, Ohio, and Chief Operating Officer Joel Jansen says the Canandaigua project was a perfect fit for their customer-centric business model. “When we heard that Canandaigua wanted a solar project with a third-party ownership model, we were excited to work with them.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) program provided a portion of the funding with two grants for solar arrays built in the city of Canandaigua for $853,067.00 and $512,575.00. “This project is another example of the growth of solar in communities across New York State as a result of the NY-Sun initiative,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “Under Governor Cuomo’s aggressive clean energy strategy, solar in the state has grown nearly 800 percent over the last five years, helping to grow jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a clean energy future for all New Yorkers.”
“As an engineer at Hunt-EAS with over 35 years of experience in municipal projects, solar has been my most gratifying. To repurpose property that hosted a landfill closed over 30 years ago to an electric generating facility offsetting dependence on fossil fuels is truly something to be proud of, I take my hat off to the City of Canandaigua,” said Bob Raeman, of Hunt Engineering.
Ian Palmer is CEO of Annapolis-based New Energy Equity, which handled all contractual and legal responsibilities associated with the installation. He points to the project as another example of effective co-development between his firm and RER. “We teamed with RER to bring this project through the contracting, financing, and project delivery phases as a complete transaction,” Palmer says. “The City of Canandaigua installation is just one of many projects we have worked on, and it represents a successful collaboration in NYSERDA territory; RER Energy Group is an outstanding partner and co-developer.”
“We are thrilled to have helped The City of Canandaigua meet more than 80% of the city’s electricity needs by renewable means,” says RER President Jim Kurtz. “Our partnership with New Energy Equity and Hunt Engineers will save the city over three million dollars over time, while serving as a model for likeminded municipalities around the region.”
About AEP OnSite Partners, LLC
AEP OnSite Partners is the non-regulated energy solutions company affiliated with American Electric Power. AEP OnSite Partners works directly with customers, developers and government officials to deliver energy solutions based upon market knowledge, technology innovations and deal-structuring capabilities. AEP Onsite Partners targets investment in distributed solar, wind, combined heat and power, energy storage, waste heat recovery, energy efficiency, peaking generation and other forms of cost-reducing energy solutions.
About New Energy Equity
New Energy Equity specializes in developing and financing commercial renewable energy projects for public and private sector customers throughout the United States, with a primary focus on solar energy. The company develops, finances, and manages end-to-end solar transactions from initial feasibility studies and permitting through engineering, legal documentation, construction, utility interconnection, ongoing energy production, operations, and maintenance.
About Hunt Engineers
HUNT Engineers is a 125-person full-service consulting and design firm. Services to municipal, governmental, industrial/commercial, and educational clients include planning; transportation engineering; water and wastewater, mechanical/electrical/plumbing; structural design; agency approvals; technology; control systems; facilities management; land surveying; architecture; interior design; landscape architecture asbestos/lead abatement; project management; energy studies; construction administration; and cost estimating.
NYSERDA, is a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
About RER Energy Group
RER Energy Group is an industry leader in providing cost-effective, high-quality solar systems throughout the United States and Latin America. The company has developed more than 55 megawatts of solar energy, obtaining over $30 million in grant proceeds for commercial, industrial, agricultural, municipal, and non-profit customers. For more information, visit www.rerenergygroup.com.