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January 01, 2019

Sullivan County Democrat
January 1, 2019
By Ed Townsend

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Until recently, my household was one of the Sullivan County homes that couldn’t access solar energy. I’ve lived in Livingston Manor for 18 years, and I had been interested in switching to renewable energy since 2010.

Unfortunately because of trees blocking my house for the direct sun to reach solar panels, I had almost given up — until I learned about community solar.

Community solar allows people to subscribe to a local solar farm without paying an upfront costs or installing anything on their property. Like rooftop solar, community solar subscribers also get to save on their electric bill — only with community solar, you get to start saving from the day the solar farm gets turned on.

It turns out I’m not the only one who can’t get solar on my own property. In fact, about four out of every five Americans can’t install rooftop solar, because their rooftop is shaded, they rent their homes, or they can’t afford the upfront cost. Community solar offers a solution to these people and ensures that we can get more cheap, clean energy onto our electric grid.

Local NY solar developer Delaware River Solar just broke ground on a new community solar farm in Laurens, and households from around the area are eligible to join. Aside from the savings that it brings to our households, it will bring approximately $300,000 in additional revenue to the municipality, and create 37 full-time construction jobs during the project’s installation phase.

The new project will serve around 400 households in the area, and it’s already filling up fast — I signed up my own household, and I’m telling everyone I know to make sure the savings and clean energy can start flowing to our community.