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Councilmen Want Solar Power In Utica

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Two Utica councilmen are urging Mayor Palmieri and the rest of the Utica Common Council to accept proposals from private companies to install solar energy on City buildings and property. The idea is being proposed by councilmen Jim Zecca and Frank Vescera. If approved, the City of Utica would choose a company to install and maintain Solar panels and equipment on several Utica City buildings.

Zecca says that through grants from Nyserda and tax incentives for solar companies, the solar equipment would not cost the City of Utica any money to install or maintain. Instead, the company chosen to install the solar would sell electric to Utica at approximately 5 cents per kilowatt. That rate would be guaranteed for 15 years. Utica currently pays more than 7 cents per kilowatt from National Grid.

Zecca and Vescera would also like the city to consider a solar farm at the location of the unused landfill on Incinerator Road. Zecca said a solar farm in that location could produce 2 megawatts of power, that’s enough to provide electricity to 400 homes.

“We should lead the way toward and environmentally friendly future,” Zecca said. “Partnering with the private sector to install solar panels on City buildings illustrates the City’s commitment to using renewable energy, supporting the renewable energy market in our state and at the same time saving the City taxpayer real dollars.”

If Utica began utilizing solar energy, some council members believe lower energy costs could attract new businesses to the area.

Solar Liberty is the company that is currently being consulted.

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