The City of Beacon and Town of Marbletown have decided how to spend sustainability funds earned through participation in Hudson Valley Community Power's community solar program. Beacon will use the money to fund local school projects and seek New York State matching funds to increase the project's scope. Marbletown will formally announce at a Community Energy Forum on November 6th its intention to use the funds for local walk and bike projects as part of an effort to build a complete off-road connection between Stone Ridge and High Falls.
To ensure residents had input into the decision, Beacon Supervisor Randy Casale asked residents to vote in an online poll for one of four possible projects: local school projects, highway garage solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, or the purchase and installation of wind- and solar-powered lights. Winning 55% of the vote, local school projects was the decisive winner. Highway garage solar panels garnered 39% of votes, while less than 4% of voters showed support for charging stations or lights. The decision of how to appropriate the funds in Marbletown was made after a community-wide meeting to discuss possible projects that could be financed by the growing municipal fund.
By subscribing to a local solar farm, Hudson Valley residents can save up to 10% annually on electricity for up to 25 years. The guaranteed savings are derived from NY State's clean energy generation incentives. Anyone with a Central Hudson residential or small business account can enroll in the community solar program to save money, support renewable generation, and reduce NY's carbon footprint. Residents that also participate in the Hudson Valley Community Power's Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program can augment their savings and support renewable energy by participating in both the CCA and community solar programs. For each solar enrollment completed before November 30th, Hudson Valley Community Power will allocate $50 to a local sustainability fund for the participating municipality.
"Both the CCA and community solar programs are no-brainers for everyone," says Beacon Mayor Randy Casale. "These programs save people money and increase clean energy use in NY State, particularly here in the Hudson Valley. These programs are even better for people with less money since the savings will be even more meaningful."
Marbletown Supervisor, Rich Parete, voiced excitement about their prospective plan. "As if three wins are not enough, Hudson Valley Community Power is adding two more wins to the win/win/win of renewable electricity for a lower price and two years of price certainty for Marbletown residents. If you sign up for community solar through Hudson Valley Community Power, you'll save on your electric bill and our town earns money to help fund a sustainability project."
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