Esopus ready to connect new solar array to the grid






ESOPUS, N.Y. >> Town officials say connection of the solar electric system at the transfer station to the Central Hudson distribution grid is at hand.

At a Town Board meeting last week, town Supervisor Diane McCord said the work had been delayed pending approval by CSX railroad and Central Hudson for placing a line over the rail tracks near West Shore Drive.

“For a month, we’d been waiting for CSX to send two people so that Central Hudson could meet them there and bring the lines over the railroad tracks,” she said. “Well, CSX isn’t so easy to get a hold of and, so, our (solar installer) told me they had an intern sitting in CSX’s office trying to get them to move.”

McCord said the pressure apparently worked and lines were placed over tracks about a week ago.


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“I told Central Hudson this was ridiculous because we had a whole month of electric we could have been generating and we weren’t able to,” she said.

Councilman Wayne Freer said lines have been placed over the tracks, but testing needs to be done before final connection is made.

“That looks like it’s connected, but the (final) connection is between the last pole that Central Hudson put in and our first pole right at the entrance to the gate,” he said.

Efforts to install a solar array at the former town landfill began about six years ago under the late Supervisor John Coutant. The project was initially expected to get underway in 2014, funded by a $645,000 grant from the state Energy Research Development Authority, but California-based developer Sun Edison never got started on installation and was fired in 2016, along with consultant Randolph Hoerner.

Town Board members ultimately received permission to transfer the grant to its new consultant, Poughkeepsie-based BQ Energy, which reported having the facility fully installed last month. Under the agreement, BQ Energy will own the system and charge the town 9 cents per kilowatt hour, with the rate to increase by 2 percent per year.

“Hopefully, the savings will pay for the electricity that we use,” McCord said.

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12 August 2017 2:48 pm
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