Red Hook Community Solar Installation Receives Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence
The Village of Red Hook, Town of Red Hook, and Village of Tivoli were virtually awarded the New York Planning Federation’s Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence for their collaborative effort in developing the Red Hook Community Solar Installation. Tighe & Bond supported the permitting and construction phase services effort for this sustainable project.
Located in the Town of Red Hook, New York, the project demonstrated the implementation of a collaborative planning effort between the three municipalities, consistent with Climate Smart Community objectives for each municipality as expressed in the Energy and Climate Action Plan adopted by all three municipalities in 2012. The 2012 Climate Action Plan’s main objective was to have a reduction of 20 percent total emissions by the year 2020, called the “20/20 Goal.” To achieve this goal, the plan set up tasks which included:
- The reduction of fossil fuel use and rise in energy self-sufficiency
- The protection and improvement of the natural environment
- Reducing energy expenses
- The creation/maintenance of local jobs
- Improving social equity and community health
Red Hook Community Solar Installation supports these regional and state-wide climate objectives making use of land used for the Village wellfield that cannot otherwise be developed and utilized a public-private partnership to bring fiscal and environmental benefits to the residents of the three municipalities.
The installation of the 1.73 MW AC community solar array was conducted to complete five of the six tasks listed in the 20/20 Goal, including:
- Reducing fossil fuel consumption by providing solar energy to the Town and Village municipal buildings and 250 residents
- Providing benefits to the natural environment by reducing emissions equivalent to 450 vehicles removed from the road
- Reducing energy expenses of direct users by an estimated 10% deducted from their electric bills during the repayment period
- Improving social equity by providing an opportunity for people in the Town and Village of Red Hook and Village of Tivoli to utilize solar energy even if solar cannot be accommodated on their existing property, due to cost, tree coverage, and inadequate roof structure
- Improving overall community health and the natural environment by reducing emissions which improve air quality
The construction of the 9.5-acre solar field was commenced in the Fall of 2019 and the system was completed December 2019. In the years to come after 2020, the project is designed to be continuously beneficial for the residents, since there is a possibility for the Town to purchase the solar field after 7 years of running. The Red Hook Community Solar Installation is predicted to generate 3,000,000 kwh of clean energy per year.