SILVER CREEK – Both the village of Silver Creek and the town of Hanover are currently in talks with a NYSERDA representatives regarding pursuing clean energy grants.
NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) offers local governments opportunities to join its clean energy communities program if those communities embrace specific “high impact actions,” said Silver Creek Trustee Warren Kelly during a recent board meeting.
If Silver Creek and Hanover take four out of the 10 possible high impact actions, each municipality will be granted eligible.
“They want to monitor our energy bills on a monthly basis,” Kelly explained. “They want to train our code enforcement officer to have some solar power (knowledge) and they want us to have a special application for building permits for solar panels and wind mills.”
Kelly added that NYSERDA “wants us to put two electric car charging units in the village and at that point, they’ll give us $5,000. I think it’s a good program because the charging units are $400 a piece and they’re going to give us a rebate on those.”
Hanover has already trained its code enforcement officer, Tom Gould, and is considering the same three actions as Silver Creek, said councilmember Louis Pelletter during the town’s most recent board meeting.
Pelletter explained how the unified solar permitting process is being rolled out statewide, suggesting that Hanover may as well get a jump on the regulations.
“Everybody who puts up solar panels will have the same rules and regulations, to some degree,” Pelletter said. “We have to change the solar panel permit (regarding) how they’re installed. There has to be a cut-off switch at the southwest corner of the building, which is going to be standard in the state eventually. That way if there’s a fire in the house, the firemen all know to go to the southwest corner … to turn off the switch so they don’t get electrocuted on the roof.”
Hanover is still in the process of deciding whether to move ahead with the process, while Silver Creek has filled out all the appropriate paperwork and is waiting on village attorney Peter Clark’s review before putting the resolution to a vote.
“We’ll have it ready to vote on for the next meeting,” Mayor Jeffrey Hornburg said.
If the four “high impact actions” are implemented the village and/or the town will be designated as a “Clean Energy Community” and become eligible to apply for more grants to fund additional clean energy projects.
According to NYSERDA’s website clean energy community coordinators can work with municipalities to “develop and prioritize clean energy goals; access guidance resources such as templates for legislation, procurement and contracts; and to take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.”
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