Administrators of the Adirondack Medical Center and RER Energy Group representative Robert Hassman gathered the other day to officially launch the Saranac Lake Community Solar facility. This marks a new community solar site for the Adirondacks region and will serve Saranac Lake communities and small businesses. The Saranac Lake Community Solar facility is comprised of 25 rows of paneling built on Route 86’s east side.
According to Hassman, the new solar facility has actually been operational since December 2020. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was simply a formality to officially recognize the milestone occasion for the Saranac Lake community and the entirety of the Adirondacks.
Saranac Lake’s new community solar installation is expected to generate 2.4 million kWh each year. This equates to 6.5 mWh of power every day it is operational. Based on RER Energy Group’s estimation, the typical home uses about 30 kWh every day. As of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, however, the facilities haven’t been able to generate much energy.
Since becoming operational in December, the Adirondacks have been experiencing snowfall that has hindered the absorption of solar energy. According to RER project manager, Gordon Smith, the blanket of white has been absorbing too much of the solar energy, leaving little for the panels to generate electricity from. However, RER expects this reduced absorption in the winter and already calculated the lower generation in its estimated figures. Sunvestment Energy Group director of business development, Mike Roach, assures that, as the snow melts, the solar installation will generate the expected amount of energy.
All energy generated by the community solar site will be filtered into the local grid. Customers linked up to the National Grid will be eligible to subscribe to the facility. All participants of the solar facility will pull energy from the site and receive a credit on their monthly utility bills. Subscribers can register for free and aren’t locked into a long-term contract.
Approximately half of the energy generated by the new community solar site is allocated for the Adirondack Medical Center. By partaking in the community solar site, the medical center will reduce its energy costs, which is constantly running.
According to Jim Kurtz, RER’s president, the new community solar site is scheduled to run for 35 years and will produce approximately $9 million of power over the course of its life.