Ancram’s ready to catch some rays

ANCRAM–Solar panels were installed on the Town Hall earllier this month and were officially turned on by a crew from Central Hudson Electric and Gas, May 18.

The electric company had to shut off the power, hook in the panels and turn on the power back on.

The total cost of the new 24 kW system is $155,000. The town was required to invest $33,500, a New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) grant paid the rest.

The power generated by the panels should save the town more than $3,000 in electric costs annually, according to Ancram Supervisor Art Bassin.

Bob Murphy, who was responsible for helping the town get the grant, said that because Town Hall has such a vast expanse of south facing roof, the town was able to install the largest system possible under the NYSERDA rebate program.

In an average year it should generate 90% of the usage based on the projected annual usage calculated by Hudson Valley Clean Energy using figures from the summer months of 2009.

During a year when there is lots of rain and snow on the roof, that percentage would go down. In a year that is unusually sunny, the Town Hall could generate more than 100% of its usage.

In the latter case, the town should get a rebate check from Central Hudson at the end of the year for the excess production, said Mr. Murphy.

The system is hooked up to the grid and has no storage batteries. On a sunny day, when town hall is generating more electricity that it is using, the excess is fed back into the grid–causing the meter to spin backwards. The excess is used by the utility company to power houses in the neighborhood, saving Central Hudson power and money, which is why the town is credited, Mr. Murphy said. -Diane Valden

Ancram’s ready to catch some rays

ANCRAM–Solar panels were installed on the Town Hall earllier this month and were officially turned on by a crew from Central Hudson Electric and Gas, May 18.

The electric company had to shut off the power, hook in the panels and turn on the power back on.

The total cost of the new 24 kW system is $155,000. The town was required to invest $33,500, a New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) grant paid the rest.

The power generated by the panels should save the town more than $3,000 in electric costs annually, according to Ancram Supervisor Art Bassin.

Bob Murphy, who was responsible for helping the town get the grant, said that because Town Hall has such a vast expanse of south facing roof, the town was able to install the largest system possible under the NYSERDA rebate program.

In an average year it should generate 90% of the usage based on the projected annual usage calculated by Hudson Valley Clean Energy using figures from the summer months of 2009.

During a year when there is lots of rain and snow on the roof, that percentage would go down. In a year that is unusually sunny, the Town Hall could generate more than 100% of its usage.

In the latter case, the town should get a rebate check from Central Hudson at the end of the year for the excess production, said Mr. Murphy.

The system is hooked up to the grid and has no storage batteries. On a sunny day, when town hall is generating more electricity that it is using, the excess is fed back into the grid–causing the meter to spin backwards. The excess is used by the utility company to power houses in the neighborhood, saving Central Hudson power and money, which is why the town is credited, Mr. Murphy said. -Diane Valden

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