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Candor School District Goes Green

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CANDOR, N.Y. -

New York's Candor School District is now completely powered by solar energy.

Something school district officials say is not just good for the environment, but that benefits taxpayers, too.

Even on a partly cloudy day, Candor's solar farm in the school district bus garage is produced 630 kilowatts of energy today. That’s enough to power more than 63 homes.

Superintendent of schools Jeff Kisloski said it wasn't only the environmental aspects of solar power that pushed them to switch from fossil fuels.

“We’ve always been interested in doing something environmental, something good for the world. It wasn't that we made a change or tried to get off the grid, it was that an opportunity that presented itself and we wanted to take advantage of that for the local taxpayers.” Jeff Kisloski, Candor Central School District.

State aid covers nearly all of the $2.2 million project that school leaders say will pay for itself in 17 years and save taxpayers $3 million over 25 years.

Thanks to these solar panels the district will have 90 to 100 percent of their electricity provided by this solar farm on the district's own land.

This is how the project works: Energy generated by the solar panels is sent to the NYSEG grid. NYSEG gives the district an energy credit, known as remote net metering monetary credit for every kilowatt generated by the solar farm. The school district then draws power from NYSEG. If the output of the solar panels is the same as the input to the buildings, then the district owes nothing for its electric bill. 

“It’s going to zero our electric bills for 25 years and our electric bills were around $125,000 a year." - Kisloski.

If the solar farm produces more energy than it consumes, the extra power goes to the town and NYSEG acts like a sort of "credit battery" for the district to use in the future.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY-23) is pushing for federal legislation to give homeowners and businesses a similar incentive so that more schools like Candor can save money and energy by going green.