By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE – After receiving outside advice on the best solar options available, the city has decided it will move forward with the energy savings project proposed by Solar City next month.
Three of the companies submitting proposals proposed using the former landfill on East Fulton Street to establish a solar panel farm that would generate energy for the city.
However, the city took an additional step to make sure it had the best information available before making the long-term decision.
Mayor Dayton King said he believes the council will officially approve a contract with Solar City at the meeting in September.
“We are leaning towards Solar City because it created the most savings,” King said. “We took our time to make the best decision possible and I think that was important.”
The city previously hired an outside consultant through Greenman-Pedersen Inc. to evaluate each of the proposals and provide a recommendation.
DPW Director Kevin Jones said Greenman-Pedersen reviewed the three offers from Solar City, Solar Liberty and Monolith Solar. He said the report determined Solar City would economically be the best option for the city over the proposed 20-year period.
“They reviewed the best three offers and determined that Solar City was the most cost advantageous,” Jones said. “The Common Council has decided to proceed so I’m having the contract reviewed so we can have this ready for their approval in September.”
According to figures provided by Greenman-Pedersen, Solar City’s proposal could create an annual savings in the first year of $94,525 and the city could save approximately $2.95 million over the full 20 year period.
The report showed both Solar Liberty and Monolith Solar could only provide a long-term savings of approximately $2.6 million and $2.5 million.
“I think realistically between our lighting project upgrades and the solar energy we will save between $80,000 to $100,000 on a good year,” Jones said. “Thirty years of experience tells me nothing ever works as good as someone says it’s going to.”
He said the solar farm will supply enough energy to operate the traffic lights and municipal buildings located within the city.
The initial proposed site for the solar farm was on the corner of South Main and Hill streets where a former leather company was located and demolished. However, Jones said it was determined the former Independent Leather site wouldn’t be big enough to set up the solar array.
The city originally became interested in the solar options after representatives of Solar City and Viridian Energy previously presented the possibility.
He said allowing the energy providers to compete through the bid process allowed the city to get the best deals available.
Jones said he isn’t sure how long it would take to construct the new solar farm at the former landfill or if there is even enough time to complete that work within this construction season.
“We can’t break the cap at our landfill so they are going to be building everything on top,” he said. “I’m not sure if there will be enough time this season to get it done or if this will get underway in the spring.”