POUGHKEEPSIE – The opportunity to network with state and local professionals in the solar electric industry and learn of the latest technical and regulatory advances in support of solar power and other distributed energy resources were provided by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation at its ninth annual Solar Summit, held March 6 at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie. Presenters included representatives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, City University of New York, New York Solar Energy Industries Association and Central Hudson.
Nearly 100 industry professionals and utility representatives attended to learn of the procedural aspects of interconnecting solar electric systems with the utility grid; advances in tools and programs developed by Central Hudson, New York State and advocacy groups to enable smart solar development; and New York State solar policy, including development of community solar projects that allow businesses and residents to purchase electricity produced by local solar farms.
“Interest in the development of renewable resources of energy is growing, and our annual Solar Summit helps to increase stakeholder knowledge of this environmentally friendly energy source,” said Paul E. Haering, Senior Vice President Engineering and Operations. “Our service area is home to nearly 8,600 customer-owned solar electric systems, which on a per capita basis is among the largest in the state.” He added that existing solar systems offset approximately 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year; and that an additional 297 solar systems are proposed, including large-scale community and wholesale market solar projects, representing 550 megawatts of solar capacity with the potential to avoid an additional 25,000 tons of emissions.
“We’re proud of our leadership position in New York, thanks to the commitment shown by local solar professionals, the high level of interest in renewable energy by our customers and Central Hudson’s programs and initiatives that facilitate solar connections to the utility grid,” said Haering. “Central Hudson’s ongoing investments in the electric system and adoption of new technologies will also enable greater integration of clean, renewable sources of energy developed in our region.”
“This year’s event was great due to the high level of interaction and thoughtful questions,” said Alison Neligan, Project Manager with NYSERDA, attending Central Hudson’s Solar Summit for the fourth time. “This format enables the various stakeholders to share their perspectives on key topics, which is critical to the success of this ever-evolving industry, and allows us to understand the pipeline and impact of solar projects coming into the region. Kudos to Central Hudson for their commitment to helping advance New York’s renewable energy goals for the benefit of all.”
“Central Hudson’s Solar Summit provided a great opportunity to meet the people who have a direct impact on the process and on how solar developments proceed,” said Shyam Mehta, Executive Director of The New York Solar Energy Industries Association. “Utilities, installers, educators and state agencies all play crucial roles in the development of the industry, so it is important to learn how different policies and programs impact them differently. This communication will improve our collective efficiency and effectiveness.”
Learn more about renewable energy, distributed generation and energy efficiency programs at www.CentralHudson.com/dg.