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Waddington Village Super hopes to install solar panels before electricity costs rise

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WADDINGTON – The town is hoping to have its solar panels installed before summer, when electricity prices are expected to rise.

Town council members approved a plan in November to install panels that would power the highway garage, library, street lights, and municipal building.

The photovoltaic system will be funded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. But when the application is approved will determine the amount the town will receive.

NYSERDA currently rebates $1.50 per watt up to 50,000 watts per system. But that rate is expected to decrease by almost 30 cents in the next few months, Robert J. Campany, of Fourth Coast Inc., Clayton, has said.

The application was received Jan. 2 and takes close to two months before approval.

“We have been told our application is in the queue, but it could be a while before we hear back,” Town Supervisor Sandy Wright said Thursday.

Mr. Campany has estimated that NYSERDA could pay up to $228,300 for the $716,000 project. Village officials expect a payback of about eight years.

“We won’t know the exact energy cost savings until we hear back from NYSERDA,” Ms. Wright said.

To fund the project, council members will be splitting costs with the village and reaching out for additional grant funding from the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

As soon as the application is approved, the town can begin working on the project, Mrs. Wright said.

“We’re right on track so far,” she said. “The idea is to have it installed by spring and to have it up and running before electricity prices rise in the summer. It’s just a matter of time.”

The installation of the project could be done mostly by in-kind and in-house services, officials said.

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