Sunday, August 11, 2019

Once Burned, Twice Shy

Those of us who have lived in Hudson for a while remember the Viridian fiasco. Back in May 2013, Mayor William Hallenbeck announced, with considerable fanfare, that the City of Hudson would be powered exclusively by wind energy, purchased from Viridian--a move that would not only benefit the environment but also save the taxpayers of Hudson $40,000 a year. As it turned out, rather than saving $40,000, the City saw a 33 percent increase in its annual electricity costs.

As a consequence of that experience, there may be some lingering skepticism, six years later, about a plan for the City to participate in a community solar project, which is projected will save the taxpayers about $36,000 a year.

Last Monday, Alderman Rich Volo (Fourth Ward), who chairs that Common Council Economic Development Committee, hosted a presentation by Wendy De Wolf of East Light Partners about the group's community solar project in nearby Greenport and the possibility of the City of Hudson becoming the major customer for the project. The PowerPoint from that presentation can be viewed here. The picture below is a rendering of what would be visible of the project from Route 9 approaching Vapor Trail. 

Gossips has been following this project from the beginning, when the plan to site a solar array in close proximity to the grounds of the Dr. Oliver Bronson House were first made known. 

Since that initial announcement in March 2018, East Light Partners has worked with Historic Hudson (the stewards of the National Historic Landmark Bronson House), as well as The Olana Partnership, Scenic Hudson, and the State Historic Preservation Office, to ensure that the project will have no negative impacts on natural resources or historic resources. The proposed siting for part of the array was changed so that it will no longer be visible from the Bronson House, and during site plan review the vegetative screening proposed was enhanced to ensure that the solar array will not be visible from Worth Avenue and Route 9 or from the grounds of the Bronson House.

Construction of the solar array is scheduled to begin next month, and the project is expected to be online by the end of the year. The City's participation in this community solar project will be discussed at the informal meeting of the Common Council tomorrow night, which begins at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. Whether or not the City decides to become the major customer for this project, individuals can subscribe to the community solar project and be assured of a 10 percent saving on their electricity bills.

1 comment:

  1. Court case after court case proved that Viridian was a sales con.
    The East Light project is an entirely different animal. I hope there will be many more like it.