Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ribbon Cutting at HCSD

Back in December, a reader discovered and Gossips reported on a huge field of solar panels that had been installed in the field behind Hudson Junior/Senior High School: "Solar Energy and Sunshine."

Its appearance raised questions about how this huge solar array could have been installed without site plan approval from the Hudson Planning Board, since, although it is on the border with Greenport, the array is definitely within the city limits of Hudson.

Today, at 10:30 a.m., the Hudson City School District hosted a ribbon cutting for its new solar array. The solar array was installed as part of the New York Power Authority's K-Solar Program, initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo and involving NYPA, NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), the Governor's Energy Office, and the NYS Education Department. According to the NYPA website, "The K-Solar Program empowers schools to procure affordable solar energy without affecting school district budgets." HCSD is among about a third of the school districts in New York State that have joined the program, which is described as "a national model for school solarization."

Photo: Glenn Wheeler|WheelerDrone
In addition to the speakers one would expect at such an event--the president of the school board, a representative of NYPA, the superintendent of schools--the announced lineup of speakers also included students from a new Alternative Energy class who were expected to speak about "learning about renewable energy and leading by example."


  1. Jeevan Goff submitted a comment which I think he meant for this post, but it ended up on the December post to which this post links. I'm posting it here on his behalf:

    I find it very disappointing that this large solar project was installed very secretly by Solar City which was operating in huge losses and would be bankrupt now if Tesla hadn't bailed them out. Meanwhile, Hudson's own solar company that is running in profit (Lotus Energy), which regularly employs Hudson High School graduates and pays taxes to Hudson Schools was never even considered or consulted. Lotus Energy can install commercial solar farms with the best quality, most powerful solar panels, made in N. America (not using cheap Asian imports). So much for supporting the local economy.

  2. I looked over the NYPA press release. The project uses 3,860 “old school” lower power 315 watt solar panels of an unnamed brand. The SunPower brand solar panels that we use for commercial customers are 470 watts each. This means that the 1.2 MW HCSD Solar plant could have been 1.8 MW using our SunPower panels, meaning a major 50% increase in energy for the school. There’s a good reason why SunPower is the largest commercial solar installer in the US. I am happy that the school went solar, but we wanted the readers to realize for the next such projects, we have the local capability in Hudson to design and install a much more powerful and longer lasting system.