JOHNSTOWN – After years of planning and three months of construction, HFM BOCES is preparing to celebrate the activation of the solar farm on its Route 67 campus.
Crews installed the ground-mounted solar arrays this summer on an approximate three-acre parcel in front of the BOCES main campus.
The nearly 800-killowatt solar farm is connected to the power grid, and the generated energy is being sold to National Grid. It’s estimated that the sale of the power will generate more than $800,000 for BOCES over the next 20 years offsetting or exceeding its future utility costs.
“The sale of our clean energy will generate revenue that will offset, and at times completely eliminate our energy costs, thereby benefitting all the school districts in our area,” HFM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel said. “The solar panels will also provide educational opportunities to BOCES students, including those enrolled in the Environmental Conservation program.”
The solar panels were installed through an agreement with WGL Energy, which entered a 20-year lease agreement for the land in front of the BOCES building. Federal and state subsidies helped make the project possible. During the 20-year agreement, WGL will own and maintain the solar panels.
The BOCES solar panels are the first to be put into operation along Route 67. While not related to the BOCES project, other solar panels are being installed east of the BOCES campus.
BOCES will host a brief ceremony to celebrate the solar farm’s activation at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony, which will be held outdoors at the front of the solar farm.