Monday, December 14, 2015

Rural Upstate New York town votes to switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2020

Officials in the rural town of Nassau, New York, (Best Places map) voted last week to ditch the electrical grid and switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, Scott Waldman reports for POLITICO New York. "If all goes as planned, within the next four years, all six of the town buildings will be disconnected from the grid, Nassau supervisor Dave Fleming said. The town is now formulating a plan for how to get all its power from renewables within the next four years."

"Using the rooftops of town buildings and a nearby landfill that has been capped to house solar panels will give the town all the energy it needs, which in turn will provide greater public safety and lower tax bills, Fleming said," Waldman writes. "The town can also use methane from the landfill and is in a wind corridor that will provide productive turbines, he said."

Department of Public Services spokesman Jon Sorensen said Nassau's plan can serve as a model for the rest of the state, as part of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Reforming Energy Vision initiative, which "is actively working to help municipalities—especially towns and schools—move toward getting a significant portion of their power from renewable resources," writes Waldman. Sorensen said "REV is designed to make the energy grid more efficient and increase its reliance on renewables, and it is intended to give consumers more choices than they have now." He told Waldman, “This is exactly the kind of thing REV is hoping to encourage. Smaller, cleaner power systems are less costly and cleaner alternatives to the bigger power stations that have made up the power grid."

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