This information is provided by Solar Tompkins. Tompkins County government partnered with Solar Tompkins on this successful program.
Solar Tompkins is meeting its ambitious goal of doubling the total deployment of residential solar power in a single year! 355 Families in Tompkins County have now signed contracts that will add 2.6 MW of electrical generating capacity from residential Solar PV. These households will start saving money right away, will enrich the community by generating wealth home by home instead of paying for imported power, and are creating a boom in the solar installation business that has resulted in at least 22.5 new, permanent, full-time, living-wage jobs created in our communities in just the last 6 months.
Solar Tompkins is a volunteer-based non-profit group with the mission of accelerating the transition to affordable, renewable power. Jonathan Comstock, chair of the Solar Tompkins Board of Directors, says “Solar Tompkins plays several roles, but the biggest two have been education on the details of how residential solar works, and bringing confidence to consumers who aren’t sure how to shop in this new market place. To do this, the program reached out to every town in the County, holding 34 community meetings and more than 25 other educational events during the summer of 2014”.
The Solar Tompkins program will result in over 355 installations in 2015. Melissa Kemp, Solar Tompkins’ Program Director says “The local solar marketplace is very strong and very competitive with all the new growth. The Solar Tompkins program has been a tremendous success as a limited time program intended to jump-start the rate of homeowners going solar for years to come, and we are excited to have exceeded our goal. The Solar Tompkins program has helped bring down the costs of going solar, has simplified the process, and has taken solar mainstream. The benefits the Solar Tompkins program has brought are here to stay. , so even though enrollment through Solar Tompkins is over, it’s still a great time to contact an installer and make the simple choice of going solar!”
Solar Tompkins does not plan to hold a program in 2015 in which it takes enrollees and acts as an intermediary between customers and installer companies. However, good prices and high quality installation will continue to be readily available. At SolarTompkins.org, residents can continue to find videos and other information covering the key aspects of going solar, the steps to expect in the process, and a simple way to request a quote and visit from an installer.
Katie Borgella, Deputy Commissioner of Planning for Tompkins County says "Tompkins County has appreciated the opportunity to partner with Solar Tompkins on this important project to transition the community to renewable sources of energy. This type of individual and community involvement and enthusiasm is exactly what is needed to bring us across the finish line in terms of meeting our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and doing our part in lessening the impacts of climate change.”
The success of Solar Tompkins is also helping to motivate citizen groups throughout NY State to develop Solarize programs of their own. “Congratulations to Solar Tompkins for a very successful program that demonstrates what community education and aggregation of solar projects can do to spur new projects,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “As NYSERDA rolls out Community Solar NY, a new component of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, we hope to see many municipalities and counties follow Solar Tompkins’ lead and drive an increase in solar projects in their communities.”
The Solar Tompkins program was made possible by the generous support of the Park Foundation. Other partner organizations include, Tompkins County, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, and Sustainable Tompkins.
For more information, visit www.SolarTompkins.org.