Greenskies to Build 3 Solar Projects in Erie County, NY

Press Release | Alden, NY
April 18, 2016

Greenskies Renewable Energy, a Connecticut-based solar energy company, will be building three major photovoltaic solar projects in Erie County over the next 12 months.

The company will build three ground-mounted solar arrays that will produce an aggregate total of 8.1 megawatts of clean electric power in two Erie County towns, said Michael Silvestrini, Greenskies’ president, CEO and co-founder.

The company will build a 2.7 megawatt, ground-mounted system on a vacant tract of county-owned land in Alden, adjacent to the Alden Correctional Facility, as well as two solar arrays on a vacant county-owned parcel in Evans. The two systems in Evans will produce a combined total of 5.4 megawatts of electric power.

In all, the three projects will utilize about 25,500 solar photovoltaic panels, Silvestrini said.

The clean energy generated by the three systems will be used to offset electricity usage at several county-owned buildings and facilities, considerably reducing the county’s utility costs, Silvestrini said. The power will be distributed virtually to the county buildings through a program called remote net-metering.

Greenskies and Erie County have entered into 20-year power purchase agreements, or PPAs, for all three projects. Under the terms of the PPAs, Greenskies will design, engineer, construct and maintain the solar arrays, at no cost to the county. The company will then sell the power it produces at the three sites back to the county at a fixed and significantly discounted rate.

“The solar power purchase agreement is the kind of project the council supports and recommends to county leadership,” said Anne Bergantz, chairman of the Erie County Environmental Management Council. “We believe that renewable energy development is a strategic planning and resource priority that has multiple benefits for our region that include cost saving, improved air quality and public health, and climate change mitigation.”

Construction on the Alden project is expected to begin in the fall and be completed in the fourth quarter, weather permitting, Silvestrini said. Construction on the two systems in Evans is expected to begin in the spring of 2017.

Based in Middletown, Conn., Greenskies is an eight-year-old company that designs, builds and maintains solar photovoltaic systems for commercial and industrial clients, municipalities and government agencies, educational institutions and utilities throughout the United States. Solar installations designed and built by Greenskies have now produced more than 105 million kilowatt hours of clean electric power.