Saranac Lake Community Solar Partnering with AdkAction on Pollinator-Friendly Initiatives

Local Community Solar Project to Create 10 Acres of Pollinator Habitat

Saranac Lake residents will soon have a local source of clean energy for the community and surrounding areas. The Saranac Lake Community Solar farm will provide homeowners, renters and businesses with the benefits of solar energy without the cost of equipment, installation, or maintenance. In addition, thanks to the support of AdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project, the Saranac Lake Community Solar farm, once completed, will be the first pollinator-friendly solar farm in the Adirondacks.

Pollinator-Friendly Solar is the practice of adding native wildflower plantings under and around ground-mounted solar arrays, replacing gravel or turf grass. This pairing represents an unparalleled opportunity to advance solar energy while simultaneously addressing the threat of pollinator extinction, promoting biodiversity, and supporting local agriculture and farmers.

New York State is home to more than 450 native pollinator species that are important not only to the pollination of commercial crops, but also to biodiversity and ecosystem health. Due to significant declines in native pollinator plants and the diverse habitats that sustain them, managed pollinator colonies in New York State have declined by more than 50 percent. Some commercial migratory pollinators have experienced colony losses in excess of 70 percent. 

The Saranac Lake Community Solar team, with the assistance of AdkAction, will sow an approved pollinator-friendly seed mix under and around the solar arrays to provide a variety of pollen and nectar sources for pollinators. This partnership will demonstrate the potential of community solar farms to play not only an economic role in their communities, but to contribute to conservation and food security efforts as well. 

The 2-megawatt ground-mounted solar project is under construction just north of Saranac Lake. Once completed, it will produce over 2.3 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually and will provide solar energy credits to between 200 and 250 homes and businesses. The project received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through NY-Sun, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s signature initiative to advance the State towards a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry and supports the New York’s goal for 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 as adopted by the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The project will begin operation in Q4 of 2020 and will be the first community solar project within the Adirondack park. Subscription is free and subscribers can save up to 10 percent on their power bills. You can learn more and subscribe at saranaclakesolar.com.

About RER Energy Group

RER Energy Group is an industry leader in providing cost-effective, high-quality solar systems throughout the United States and Latin America. The company has developed more than 45 megawatts of solar energy, obtaining over $30 million in grant proceeds for commercial, industrial, agricultural, municipal, and non-profit customers. For more information, visit www.rerenergygroup.com.

About AdkAction

AdkAction creates projects to address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the character of the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Pollinator Project is a project of AdkAction that promotes the health of pollinators, critical to our food and ecosystems, by empowering people to take individual and collective action to help pollinators thrive. To learn more about AdkAction’s Adirondack Pollinator Project, please visit: www.adkaction.org/pollinators

About NYSERDA

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in New York. It seeks to advance innovative energy solutions in ways that improve New York’s economy and environment.

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