OSWEGO, NY – Oswego city and county officials joined state representatives Friday as they announced state funding of $316,000 to help St. Luke Apartments install a solar power system and energy efficiency measures that will significantly reduce operating costs and energy use for the affordable housing complex for seniors and the disabled.
The funding will help reduce the building’s energy costs by approximately $40,000 annually, and will also cut its energy use by about 30 percent.
The announcement was made at the 101-unit apartment complex on West First Street by officials from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, State Senator Darrel Aubertine, Oswego Mayor Randy Bateman and Amy Tresidder of the Oswego County Legislature.
NYSERDA is providing the funding to install a 26.2 kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the building and a variety of energy efficiency measures that will improve lighting, heating and other systems.
It is part of a larger energy-improvement initiative by Christopher Community, Inc., of Syracuse, which operates similar facilities in Syracuse, Auburn and Canandaigua, to reduce energy costs and use in all of its facilities.
“Cutting energy costs and promoting new technologies is central to job creation and our economic future, which must include energy independence in New York State,” Aubertine said. “These solar panels create jobs in their installation and maintenance; but, with the savings they provide an organization like Christopher Community Center to reinvest in their operations.”
The project will continue to provide savings year after year, he pointed out.
“I applaud the leaders of Christopher Community Center for their vision and NYSERDA for recognizing the value of this project,” the senator added.
“I wish to congratulate St. Luke Apartments on their recent award from NYSERDA for an energy efficiency initiative, which includes installation of a 26.2 kW photovoltaic system,” the mayor said. “NYSERDA has also been a great partner with the city of Oswego in assisting with greening the city’s energy sources. NYSERDA has previously provided the city with a $283,000 grant for photovoltaic panels for the city’s Crisafulli Ice Rink in Fort Ontario Park, which will greatly reduce the city’s energy bills to operate that facility. The city looks forward to new opportunities to partner with NYSERDA to continue reducing our energy costs.”
The comprehensive approach to energy management being taken by the leaders of St. Luke Apartments will set an example for building managers not only in Central New York, but throughout the state, according to Francis Murray, president and CEO of NYSERDA.
“By combining he use of clean, renewable energy with important energy efficient measures, the leaders of Christopher Community Center will demonstrate how to reduce energy costs and usage while maintaining comfort for the residents,” he said.
“We are proud to be on the cutting edge of technology with the installation of the solar panels on St. Luke Apartments. NYSERDA and Solar Liberty have been great partners in this project,” said Doug Reicher, president of Christopher Community Inc. “Our residents may be seniors, but it doesn’t prevent them form being innovative and concerned about the health of our planet.”
The solar PV system, which will receive $125,000 in funding from NYSERDA, will produce approximately 11 percent of the building’s power needs per year and reduce its energy costs by $6,700, according to Jim Walters, marketing manager for Solar Liberty.
The energy efficiency measures will be funded by $191,000 from NYSERDA.
They will reduce the building’s energy costs by 26 percent or about $34,000 annually and cut usage by 213,000 kW hours per year, Walters added.
“The project means jobs, right here in the Oswego area. People are going to be put to work installing those solar panels,” Murray pointed out. “With today’s economy, any job is a precious commodity.”
“Without NYSERDA’s forward thinking to promote green projects, things like this would not be getting done,” Sen. Aubertine said. “This will save St. Luke’s upwards of $40,000 a year. That’s a savings that we can ultimately pass on to the residents.”
The mayor pointed out the city will place similar panel on one of its ice rinks in the near future.
Projects like these shows communities that solar really works, Walters said.
“Once they see solar working and see that it has a positive return, they will think about it for their homes and businesses,” he said. “Solar not only reduces costs, but is also creates jobs; real jobs that real people have.”
The green technology field also offers opportunities for people to stay in Central New York instead of going elsewhere for work, he added.
A total of 117 panels will be installed on the roof of the apartment complex. The work should be completed by mid-December.
They are designed to withstand high winds and will last for decades.
The solar power output is connected to the time of year, with the sunnier months producing the most power. Central New York’s amount of sunshine annually is relatively equivalent to some Southern states, Murray pointed out.