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New Program Expands Access To Solar Power In The Southern Tier

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Close to 50 people gathered at Bistro 163 Wednesday night to learn more about a new program offering discounted solar power to residents of the Southern Tier.

Southern Tier Solar Works (STSW) launched its Community Shared Solar (CSS) non-profit program that offers the opportunity for those who cannot install solar, such as renters and businesses, a way to get discounted solar electricity credits on their NYSEG bill. 

Anyone who pays a NYSEG bill can sign up for this discounted community solar. 
CSS will deliver solar from solar farms in the region. 

“Since it's at a solar farm that’s in the area it doesn’t matter if you own property at all, or if you live in a forest like me, if you have poor credit, none of that matters,” said Adam Flint, Director of Clean Energy Programs at Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition.

From 6:30 to 8 p.m., participants learned how they can own or subscribe to a solar farm in the region. They also learned how they could receive credit for discounted solar power on their NYSEG bill.

“This is a great thing for our environment, a great thing for your wallet, it’s also a great thing for our economy because the people who work on these, which are in the area, are here in the area so it’s an economic boost as well,” said Flint. “So rather than importing energy from some other state or some other country we’re producing it right here in our backyard.” 

Community members can subscribe to the solar farm monthly or they can purchase their own panels on the farm through the CSS program, allowing them to go solar without installing it on their home. Their portion of the electricity produced on the solar farm will get credited directly to their NYSEG bill each month. 

“Community solar, sometimes known as ‘shared solar,’ is a great way to expand access to solar energy for all,” said Flint. 

“Residents who couldn’t save money with clean and renewable solar power can do so now, and that’s really incredible,” said Conrad Taylor, Binghamton City Councilman.

ETM Solar and NEXAMP have been selected to develop the solar farms for CSS. 

For more information on the Community Shared Solar program, visit southerntiersolarwoks.org or call 607 873-9220.