The Clarkstown Town Board approved an agreement with Bronx-based OnForce Solar for a solar installation at the former town landfill in West Nyack. On Tuesday, the board authorized Supervisor Alex Gromack to sign a contract with the solar contractor.
Councilmember George Hoehmann, who has been leading the effort to bring solar power to the town, said the company offered its services at a lower price than the prior frontrunner Solar City that the town had previously considered. He said twice a year NYSERDA gives awards to firm for large-scale solar projects and because of that, the town decided to issue a second RFP in mid October to coincide with those awards.
“We decided to go back out in a very limited RFP (Request For Proposal) to firms that received a subsidy in solar from New York State,” said Hoehmann. “They all came in lower than before.”
According to Hoehmann, four firms responded to the second RFP. OnForce Solar came back with a per kilowatt hour price that was lower than the other firms by a sizable margin, which Hoehmann said was made possible by the NYSERDA subsidy. He noted all the firms beat the initial proposal from Solar City, which had an agreement with the town that was not yet signed.
The agreement with OnForce Solar stipulates a $100,000 payment will be made to Clarkstown for its project expenses it incurs. So far, the town has paid for a feasibility study and filed an application with Orange & Rockland to connect the solar power into the utility’s grid. Hoehmann explained there would be additional costs associated with the O&R application and fees for state Department of Environmental Conservation permits, which are already in progress.
“We’re well under $100,000 for that,” he said. “All of those things will be covered.”
Hoehmann said it is possible the construction could begin within months.
“We were told by OnForce that they would like to break ground by the second quarter of next year,” he said.
The two-megawatt system proposed for the closed West Nyack landfill would produce electricity to operate town facilities at a lower cost than is currently paid.
Hoehmann said, “We’re projecting that we’re going save over $6 million over 25 years in electrical costs.”
The solar equipment has a lifespan of 35 to 40 years and Hoehmann said the effectiveness of it diminishes by less than one percent each year.