Draft Project Site Plan
The Maine-Endwell School District is about to embark on a Solar Energy Project that will produce over 100% of the district’s electricity use, district-wide. The solar field will be constructed on district-owned vacant land adjacent to Maine Memorial Elementary School. Residents authorized the district to purchase the 34 acres in a capital project referendum in 2007. It has remained undeveloped since. At their Sept. 12 meeting, the district’s Board of Education entered into a predevelopment agreement with Renovus Energy. The district will now work with Renovus to take actions that are required before the district enters into an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) for the construction of the solar field. An EPC is a way of financing an energy project which allows funding from cost reductions.
In August 2018, the district began formal exploration of a district-owned grid concept presented to them by Renovus Solar. The Board approved a feasibility study contract with Renovus which included working with NYSEG to determine how much electric their system could accept if a solar project were to be built. NYSEG approved the maximum allowable amount for the project (4.1MegaWatt). The amount of energy generated, along with grants and state aid, will lead to the 100% offset of electricity costs for the district, AND produce a positive revenue of $6 million over 25 years, or approximately $240,000 a year on average. Voter approval is not needed to proceed with the project.
Over the next several weeks, Renovus Solar and Eisenbach and Ruhnke Engineering, P.C. will be conducting detailed surveys and renderings for final consideration by the Board of Education on Oct. 17. Additionally, the board will be conducting a special meeting on Oct. 9 at Maine Memorial for purposes of educating the community and answering any questions. The goal is to meet the deadline to secure NYSERDA incentives. Construction could begin as early as summer 2020.