ROCHESTER, NY – June 17, 2021 – As part of a long-term goal to reduce energy expenses, the Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) today announced plans to install a five megawatt (MW) solar energy array on its existing property at the corner of Penfield Rd. and Watson Hulbert Rd. in the Town of Penfield. Construction started this week and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The array will benefit MCWA customers by using clean, sustainable energy to offset its power bills and also help New York State achieve its clean energy targets including generating 70 percent of its electricity through renewable resources by 2030.
Through a competitive bid process led by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), national solar energy developer Sol Systems in Washington D.C. was selected to install and operate the solar array at no expense to MCWA in return for all energy credits generated at a fixed price per kWh over 25 years. The array is expected to generate 8 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which will be delivered to RG&E and credited to MCWA on its energy bills. The system will offset more than 15 percent of the 50 million kilowatts per year required by MCWA for water pumping and treatment.
“By installing this renewable carbon dioxide-free power source with no upfront expense, our budgeted electrical costs will be reduced, which will continue to help keep our water rates affordable,” said Monroe County Water Authority Executive Director Nicholas Noce. “Additionally, we will reduce our carbon footprint and foster sustainability through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.”
The MCWA project is one of the first in New York State to utilize bifacial solar modules, which allow light to enter both sides of a panel, increasing total energy generation. The town of Penfield already has a traditional solar array on Jackson Road.
“Placing a large-scale solar array on public land is a great way to model a strong commitment to renewable energy goals while providing a significant financial benefit,” said Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of NYPA, which is serving as project advisor, helping with preliminary site assessment, competitive bidding and project execution oversight. “The Monroe County Water Authority is stepping up to support a new clean energy source that will generate affordable and reliable electricity and help achieve the state’s goal of a 100 percent carbon-free electricity sector by 2040.”
MCWA, a public benefit corporation, has been involved in several water supply initiatives as part of its Environmental Stewardship program. This project is its first foray into renewable energy. However, it has long participated in state and local energy load shedding programs which have generated $5.5M in revenue over the past 19 years. MCWA has also received nearly $1M in grants and rebates for installing energy efficient equipment.
“Sol Systems is very excited to work with MCWA on this forward-thinking project,” said William Graves, Director of Origination for Sol Customer Solutions. “This project will help give MCWA long-term visibility into its energy costs, while providing a clean source of electricity to RG&E’s energy portfolio.” Sol Customer Solutions is a joint venture between Sol Systems and Capital Dynamics. Capital Dynamics will own the project with Sol Systems managing the asset throughout the agreement.
Construction will include approximately 29 acres of ground-mounted solar panels, and a connection to RG&E’s power lines on the south side of Penfield Road across from the site. The property was purchased by MCWA in 1993 with the intent to use it as a future reservoir site, and a portion of the property is currently used to stockpile soil from water main breaks and other projects. The solar array will not interfere with those activities and a future reservoir could still be planned in the future depending on system needs and growth.
About Monroe County Water Authority
Monroe County Water Authority is a not-for-profit public benefit corporation that reliably provides quality, affordable water that fosters economic vitality and enhanced quality of life for Monroe County and area communities who request service. Currently serving over 700,000 people in Monroe and its five adjacent counties, MCWA produces and delivers an average of 60 million gallons of water daily. For more information, please visit www.mcwa.com.
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.
About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a leading national solar energy firm with an established reputation for integrity and reliability across its development, infrastructure and environmental commodity businesses. To date, Sol has developed and/or financed over 1 GW of solar projects valued at more than $1 billion for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, counties, utilities, universities and schools. The company also actively shapes and trades in environmental commodity and electricity markets throughout the United States. The company was founded in 2008, is based in Washington, D.C., and is led by its founder. Sol Systems works with its team, partners, and clients to create a more sustainable future we can all believe in. For more information, visit https://www.solsystems.com
About Capital Dynamics
Capital Dynamics is an independent global asset management firm focusing on private assets, including private equity (primaries, secondaries co-investments), private credit, and clean energy infrastructure. Created in 1988, the Firm has extensive knowledge and experience developing solutions tailored to meet the exacting needs of a diverse and global client base of institutional and private wealth investors. As of Q1 2021, Capital Dynamics oversees more than USD 15 billion in assets under management and advisement, and employs approximately 160 professionals globally across 13 offices in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia. Capital Dynamics is a recognized industry leader in responsible investing, receiving the highest marks from the UNPRI for its Strategy & Corporate Governance, and investment strategies. For more information, please visit: www.capdyn.com