QUEENSBURY — The final contracts are in, and the Southern Adirondacks Solarize campaign persuaded a whopping 46 homeowners to buy solar.
While the vast majority were in Queensbury, there were a few homeowners in Glens Falls and a scattering of others throughout Warren County. All of them are now using solar power for their household electrical needs. They each got a discount from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for buying during the campaign.
The campaign team’s goal was to get 20 solar buyers. In the end, they got 28 customers in Queensbury alone.
When the campaign started, Apex Solar said the biggest campaign it had ever worked on got about 50 buyers. That was in the Albany area, which has far more residents per square mile.
Apex Solar did not expect the Queensbury effort to get nearly that many. The company said 30 buyers would be indicative of a good campaign.
The campaign blew past that mark in the first four months of the six-month campaign.
Apex credited the Clean Energy Committee for its many events designed to entice residents to consider solar. They often featured free food and were held all over the region. Volunteers also ran tables at the Glens Falls Farmers Market and the Glens Falls Take a Bite events.
“Queensbury has been a great campaign, in terms of the volume of sales. I do believe the 2016 Solarize Albany Campaign may have done marginally better, but I would describe this as one of the better campaigns,” said Brent McDevitt, sales director at Apex Solar. “We thank all the volunteers for all of the hard work.”
He said it was clear that people who live in the Adirondacks really care about the environment.
“The good folks of Queensbury and the Adirondacks really get it as it comes to solar and renewable energies,” he said.
The Clean Energy Committee is not resting on its laurels.
“We’re meeting on Dec. 12 to decide what we’re going to do next,” said Queensbury Town Board member Catherine Atherden.
The town has also finally received a $50,000 grant from NYSERDA for completing several clean energy projects, Supervisor John Strough said.
That will be spent on an electric vehicle and converting decorative Christmas lights to LEDs, he said. He added that the vehicle would be four-wheel drive, but the board has not yet authorized the spending and Atherden expressed surprise at Strough’s plan.
In addition, Strough said the town needs to look at the recyclables industry.
“The market’s not there for electronics and plastics. We should take that seriously,” he said. “Should we put grant money into encouraging industries to take a look at reusing materials?”