Business Journal News Network
By Eric Reinhardt BARNEVELD, N.Y. — The Barneveld location of Upstate Cerebral Palsy is the “sole beneficiary” of a 1.4-megawatt solar project that is now finished and in operation. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Boston, Massachusetts–based Citizens Energy Corporation on Thursday announced the completion of the Oneida County project. NYSERDA, through the NY-Sun program, provided nearly $300,000 in support of the solar array, which includes 3,600 panels, per a release. The solar installation will offset almost all of Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s annual electricity load, “providing an estimated savings to the organization of more than $30,000 annually,” NYSERDA said. Located behind the organization’s Barneveld facility, the 1.4-megawatt array will produce more than 1.5 million kilowatt-hours annually, “the equivalent of taking 184 cars off the road or powering 245 homes annually.” Citizens Energy owns and operates the solar array. It was developed to contribute to New York’s renewable-energy goals, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and support the company’s 40-year mission of “using successful energy ventures to generate revenues to make life’s basic needs, especially energy, more affordable for elderly and low-income households,” the release stated. Former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II founded Citizens Energy in 1979 and he continues to serve as its chairman and president. “The newly constructed 7-acre solar farm will provide discounted electricity to over 50 of our sites. The sites house or provide programs to thousands of people with developmental disabilities and the nearly 2000 staff that support them,” Geno DeCondo, executive director of Upstate Cerebral Palsy, said in the release. “With the help of our partners and consulting group, WMR Services LLC, we have been able to partner with Citizens Energy Corporation to achieve cost savings to support our critical programs, and at the same time harness renewable energy that reduces emissions and our carbon footprint.” WMR Services has offices in New Hartford and Buffalo, per its website. About Upstate Cerebral Palsy, NY-Sun Upstate Cerebral Palsy is a provider of services to 15,000 individuals annually in Central New York, with more than 2,000 employees at over 60 locations. Upstate Cerebral Palsy is a health and human-services organization that provides support and programs for individuals with special needs and their families, “across the lifespan.” The organization’s mission is to provide innovative programs and services that support people and create opportunities to fulfill life choices, one person at a time. NY-Sun is Gov. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to “advance the scale-up” of solar and “move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient” solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York has increased more than 1,700 percent and leveraged nearly $3.8 billion in private investments, NYSERDA said. These investments have supported nearly 12,000 people who work in solar jobs across the state.