Solar farm up and running in the Village of Depew –

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Broadway Solar Farm started generating and feeding up to 5 megawatts of power to NYSEG in March.

DEPEW, N.Y. — A new solar farm to produce energy from the sun is now up and running in the Village of Depew. 2 on Your Side went out on this bright, sunny Thursday get a closer look at the unusual re-use project for renewable energy. 

16,000 solar panels somewhat glistening but really grabbing and absorbing those rays at the Broadway Solar Farm, which started generating and feeding up to 5 megawatts of power to NYSEG in March. 

It is enough power for about 600 users ranging from households, to businesses, and even local government entities. Rocky Shoemaker is the Construction V.P. for New Energy Equity which is operating the site.

“The panels collect the energy from the sun. Through a network of wires they go an inverter which converts it from DC power to AC power like what you use in your home,” Shoemaker said.

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This solar farm was actually built over an old Village of Depew landfill for an interesting re-use.

“We had to work closely with the Department of Environmental Conservation to cap the landfill before the solar array got constructed,” Shoemaker said.

We did not get exact construction costs but landscaping with the remediation was estimated at $1 million. The silicon and glass panels are actually made in Vietnam, and it turns out most such production is overseas.

Naturally, we raised some questions about Western New York’s not always sunny climate.

2 On Your Side: Are you still able through those clouds to gather some sunlight for production?

Shoemaker: Absolutely. Absolutely. Depending on how overcast it is, as long as the sun is out and up in the sky. Even on a cloudy day, you’d get somewhere in the neighborhood of getting 10 to 30 percent of the nominal output. 

And with snow?

It does block the sunlight. Fortunately they’re at a pretty good tilt here at 30 degrees, and any time you get a little bit of heat generated, snow just tends to slide right off.

They also claim the panels’ efficiency is actually better in colder weather. 

The revenue model to pay for this solar farm is subscriptions. This one in Depew is already booked up.

Chris Miller with New Energy Equity explained: “While the energy itself is going entirely to NYSEG’s grid, and helps them with grid stability, and having clean energy on the grid, that energy is being converted to a financial benefit on subscribers’ NYSEG electric bills.”

They may eventually expand this solar farm with adjacent available property.


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