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Local towns solar power plans in jeopardy

Feb 15, 2015 12:03 am
Larry Rulison in thw Albany Times-Union reports about the changing solar power industry, and new laws that may affect locals. In Greene County, towns such as Cairo have started small solar farms lately, as regulations allow municipalities to buy the power for typically 30 percent to 35 percent above what they normally charge other customers. "Although the way such solar farms are financed can vary, the developers typically pay the costs of the solar farm and charge the municipality a fixed, long-term rate for the electricity," wries Rulison in the Times-Union. "The municipality gets to substantially lower its electric bills from the premium it earns selling the power back to the utility." A December Public Service Commission ruled that the industry was taking advantage of "uneconomic arbitrage" and now the solar industry says that drastically alters the financial projections for hundreds of projects. Monolith Solar was planning to move from Rensselaer and build a new $4.6 million headquarters in Slingerlands, but now is not so sure. "Monolith says it has 231 such remote solar farm projects in the pipeline, all of which will have to be scrapped if the rule change stands." Read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.