Presentation scheduled tonight on solar project
FONDA -- The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District is considering a large-scale solar project that could eventually provide a cost-savings to the district.
A presentation of the solar project will be given at a special Board of Education meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the middle school by Eric Schiemann, a General Electric solar project engineer.
"We started looking at this through General Electric. It would be a long-term project at no cost to the district," Superintendent Raymond Colucciello said last week. "We have the potential to become a pilot project for the state to use solar energy in school houses."
Colucciello said the project fits in with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "K-Solar" initiative, a program to provide incentives, financing, and technical assistance to schools interested in reducing energy costs, and creating healthier environments for students through on-site solar installation.
"We thought it was perfect timing, because we are replacing our roof," Colucciello said, adding that an engineer has already inspected the district buildings. "There is a good chance we could start this project."
Colucciello said an assessment is currently underway to determine how much the district spends per kilowatt hour, and how much could be saved with the solar energy.
District Treasurer Carey Shultz said the idea is to work with General Electric through a power purchasing agreement, where the company would own and maintain the equipment, but the district would be using the energy.
He added the project is much larger than the project that was proposed in the capital bond proposal.
"That was approximately 10-kilowatts, which powers a house," Shultz said. "This project, we are looking at roughly 200-kilowatts or 300-kilowatts. We are talking about powering an entire building or wing."
It would be an additional power source to the district, which currently relies on a co-generator system.
"We would keep the Co-Gen plant, but we would only use it during peak times," Colucciello said.
The presentation on Monday will review the details of the project and the potential savings to the district.