The Yorktown Town Board last week awarded the installation of a milestone renewable energy project at the Granite Knolls Sports Complex to HESP Solar.
The project includes a proposed solar canopy, energy storage system and four electric vehicle charging stations. The proposed solar array will be installed above a carport on the parking lot which the town is looking to pave. The project is expected to generate an estimated $100,000 a year in revenue for the town and allow Con Edison customers in town to get a 10% discount on their electric bills.
“This will be a milestone project not only for the Town of Yorktown but New York State,” said Supervisor Matt Slater. “We are leading by example, showing our residents the importance of renewable energy, which will help the environment while generating critical revenue for the Town to maintain its strong financial health. In the wake of the COVID pandemic this is more important now than ever.”
The company has estimated that the project will reduce carbon dioxide—one of the gases that causes global warming—as much as having 1,249 acres of mature forest. No trees will be cut during the installation of the array.
“In all the years I have sat here I have never seen anything like this,” said Yorktown Councilwoman and former longtime town clerk Alice Roker.
In September, the Town Board approved new laws to establish orderly rules for property owners who want to install solar panel arrays and solar power storage devices, becoming the first community in Westchester County to provide a regulatory framework for energy storage systems.
Yorktown’s actions align with the 2015 New York State Energy Plan, whose goals include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels and 50% energy generation from renewable sources.
“This is a no brainer that will continue the good work we’ve done to help the environment while also helping our local taxpayers,” said Yorktown Councilman Ed Lachterman.
The solar array at Granite Knolls includes an energy storage system. Prior to the September laws’ adoption, the Town of Yorktown’s code did not provide a method of approving or disapproving solar projects other than roof-mounted solar panels.
A community solar project is an array of panels installed in a sunny location. Anyone can access the clean energy produced by these solar panels and get credits toward their electricity bills.