April 23, 2021

Hudson Valley Community Power Renewal to Include Community Solar as a Default Energy Offering



Hudson Valley, NY (April 23, 2021)—The Town of Marbletown is the first Hudson Valley Community Power (HVCP) municipality to approve community choice solar, including cost saving with community solar as a default energy option. The current electricity supply contract term for the ten HVCP communities expires June 30th. In advance of soliciting bids for a new supply contract, the municipalities are each expected to pass a resolution that announces an intention to renew their participation in the program with a new community choice electricity supply offering. It is also expected that several other communities will follow Marbletown’s lead by including community choice solar in the renewal resolution.  

A Request for Information (RFI) from solar project developers was issued in March, and Marbletown is expected to launch the new community solar offering this Summer. Four new communities will be joining the group as they solicit bids for a new electricity supply contract: The Towns of Gardiner, Rhinebeck, and Saugerties, and the Village of Nelsonville. Awards for a new electricity supply contract to be effective July 1st are expected to be made at the end of April. 

Community Choice Solar Means Lower Electricity Costs for All

An opt-out community-level agreement ensures equal access to the benefits of community distributed generation from renewable sources—including electricity bill savings made possible by NY State incentives for renewable energy generation.  A community choice solar program delivers participants guaranteed electricity bill savings on solar credits without requiring them to sign an individual contract, undergo a credit check, pay a second bill for solar, or install solar panels on their home or property.  The credits, and the resulting electricity bill savings, are supplemental to any benefits delivered by a community choice electricity supply offering.

Community Choice Solar Attracts Local Investment, Creates Jobs

Re-localizing energy generation helps build local wealth. Solar projects distribute benefits back to individual households in the form of reliable savings, but also to communities in the form of job creation and community revenue. Local businesses will benefit from more and steady income flowing into the community.

Progress Toward Achieving NY’s Clean Energy Goals

Opt-out community solar not only reduces carbon emissions, but it also moves NY State closer to achieving its clean energy goals. While benefiting communities and residents, opt-out community solar also provides significant benefits to solar project developers by effectively guaranteeing that all the generated electricity output of the solar farm will be purchased without any need to solicit interest or market to potential individual customers. The municipal-level agreement ensures that subscribers have been secured in advance, thereby fostering an environment that allows for at-scale development of solar projects throughout NY State.

“Community Solar gives us the opportunity to provide clean energy and save money for Marbletown residents. It’s a program that benefits all of us and we are excited to be part of it,” said Rich Parete, Marbletown Supervisor.

Tom Konrad, Chairman of Marbletown’s Environmental Conservation Commission and Climate Smart Communities Task Force (ECC) , stated, “Marbletown has repeatedly shown that when it comes to energy, doing the right thing for the environment can also be the right thing for your bank account. With opt-out community solar, even busy Marbletown residents—who do not have the time to understand what is, admittedly, a confusing subject—will be saving on their electricity bills. And even people who don't like the Town government making decisions for them have the option of exercising their freedom to pay more for electricity than their neighbors by opting out,” 

Joule Director Glenn Weinberg stated, “As the only CCA program administrator with a PSC-approved implementation plan that integrates community solar as a default energy offering, we are pleased to offer municipalities a solar offering that doesn’t discriminate or impose enrollment hurdles. Our first, and the country’s first, community choice solar program is currently launching in the Finger Lakes, and we are excited to now expand to other regions in the State. We recognize Marbletown as a pioneer in the Hudson Valley.”