Bringing Community Solar to Clifton Park, New York

The Sugar Hill Solar Farm, to be located on 40 acres of land in Clifton Park, New York, will be the first community solar farm in the area. The 7-megawatt (MW), ground-mounted solar project developed by US Light Energy will encompass nearly 20,000 solar modules. When fully operational later this year, it is expected to produce more than 8.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy annually — enough electricity to power up to 600 homes and businesses.

Chosen for its secluded location and proximity to electrical infrastructure, the site of the Sugar Hill Solar Farm is particularly advantageous to the project. The presence of the solar farm will enable a previously underutilized property to become a new source of landowner revenue, while also preserving it from the impacts of residential and commercial development.

Community Solar in New York State

As a participant in New York State’s Community Solar Program, electricity generated at Sugar Hill Solar Farm can be supplied to customers anywhere in National Grid’s existing distribution system, without the need for rooftop solar panels. Subscribers typically save 10 percent on their electricity bills. Residential and commercial properties in Clifton Park will have 30 days to subscribe before the solar energy generated by the farm is opened to the general public.

“We are thrilled to begin construction of Clifton Park’s first community solar farm, which will produce clean, renewable energy that saves money for customers and reduces our carbon footprint,” said Mark Richardson, President and CEO of US Light Energy. “With the support of leaders in town government, elected representatives on the state and federal levels, and our partners in energy delivery and advocacy, we look forward to harnessing the power of the sun to positively impact our energy, economic and environmental futures.”

“We believe community solar is the future of the industry, and US Light Energy is leading the way in developing innovative projects. We congratulate them and the state of New York on this momentous occasion,” said Scott Wiater, President and CEO of Standard Solar, which will own and operate the community solar farm.

The project received over $1.6 million in funding from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NY-Sun is a $1 billion initiative to advance the scale up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased more than 1,500 percent and leveraged nearly $3.5 billion in private investments.

Lower Energy Costs with a Community Solar Subscription

“We’re excited to partner with USLE to help homeowners, renters and businesses in the Clifton Park area save on their energy costs and lower emissions,” said Richard Keiser, Founder and CEO of Common Energy, US Light Energy’s customer acquisition partner. “By supporting these projects, the entire community benefits.”

“The Sugar Hill Solar Farm initiative by U.S. Light Energy will provide clean energy that will help Clifton Park residents save money on their electric bills and help preserve farmland in town. It’s a win for the environment, ratepayers and our small businesses,” said Senator Jim Tedisco (R, C, I, REF-Glenville).

Powering Sustainable Economic Development

“The presence of reliable energy capabilities, and in particular those that are renewable, is a critical component of economic development,” said Marty Vanags, President of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. “We congratulate US Light Energy on reaching this milestone and look forward to working with them to leverage this resource to attract additional economic growth to Saratoga County.”