Cohoes takes strides towards greener future with pioneering floating solar panel project – WRGB

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It’s been four years in the making but the first-of-its-kind floating solar panels are one step closer to breaking ground in Cohoes.

The goal is to put 8,000 solar panels across the city’s reservoir to get closer to a cleaner environment and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

“It will not only power our municipal needs for decades to come but also serve as an example for municipalities across the country,” said Mayor Bill Keeler.

Decreasing the city’s environmental footprint also helps lower the municipalities’ nearly half-a-million-dollar electric bill.”Once this project is fully operational those costs will be eliminated,” Keeler added.

The roughly $8 million investment is made possible through multiple state, federal, and private grants.

Congressional rep Paul Tonko says Cohoes is helping shape policy as there are 24,000 man-made reservoirs around the country.

“We’ve seen it in applications around the world, but the U.S. is lagging far behind,” added Tonko. “We’re making a great contribution and inspiring chapters of contributions to come on this given Earth Day.”

The historic infrastructure investments also help New York State get one step closer to reaching climate goals.

“These are communities across our state that are literally leading the way on a local level to deploy technologies, to demonstrate that it can happen, and to benefit their constituents,” Doreen Harris, NYSERDA President.

“National Grid has connected more than one thousand mega-watts of distributed generation in New York. National Grid is proposing more than 70 electric projects through 2023 that will generate thousands of new jobs and more than a billion dollars in additional economic growth while meeting customer demand for electricity,” added Brian Sano, National Grid’s Director of Community & Customer Engagement.

There is an educational component too students in the Cohoes school district will get to see the construction and completion of the panels as it’s incorporated into science classes.

RPI received a grant from National Grid for students to create an interactive map of reservoirs across the state that have the potential to house floating solar projects.

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