BlueRock Solar, an affiliate of BlueRock Energy, the total energy solutions provider of utility products and services, announced plans for a community solar project just outside Buffalo, NY in Grand Island. On Monday, the town board voted unanimously to approve the project which will be completed in partnership with Active Solar Development. BlueRock Solar expects to break ground later this summer and complete the installation within 2-3 months.
The 18-acre solar array will be the largest New York State community solar installation project in the state and will power up to 400 homes and businesses. At least 60 percent of the power generation will be allocated for residential customers with a guaranteed savings as compared to the incumbent utility. The project will consist of approximately 12,000 solar panels installed off I-190 between Bedell Road and Industrial Drive.
"Community solar projects are a gateway for those who are looking for clean renewable energy," says Michael Francis, General Manager of BlueRock Solar. "We would like to thank the town of Grand Island for approving Active Solar and BlueRock to begin work on this exciting project. Grand Island businesses, home owners and renters will now have easy access to solar energy and can reap the benefits of going green."
This will be BlueRock Solar's second community solar project and one of only a few in the state. Earlier this year, the company successfully completed installation and interconnection of a community solar project in Millport, NY, in a partnership with Ithaca, NY-based Renovus Solar. The project supplies roughly 80 customers with clean energy across three and a half acres. Millport is the first New York State community solar project with no upfront payment required of customers, instead operating as a "pay as you go" model. Grand Island is expected to operate in a similar fashion.
Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray told Spectrum News this type of development was made for Western New York. "Once upon a time, this was a groundbreaking area for science and technology. Some of the first electrical projects were done right here by Nikola Tesla."
Grand Island is across the Niagara River from the recently shuttered Huntley Power Station. The coal burning plant in the town of Tonawanda was retired last year. It is also the same region powered in the late 1800's by the then-revolutionary Niagara Falls Project, the world's first hydro-electric power plant.
(Photo courtesy to BlueRock Solar)