SunCommon partners with Orange County Citizens Foundation to build community solar array


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  • Photos by Chris DeciccoOn Wednesday, Oct. 17, SunCommon General Manager Jeff Irish and Nancy Proyect, president of the Orange County Citizens Foundation held an official ground-breaking ceremony for a community solar array in Sugar Loaf.




  • SunCommon, a company whose stated mission is to tear down barriers to solar energy, has partnered with Orange County Citizens Foundation to build a small scale solar array, an ensemble of solar panels on the foundation's land, capable of powering over 60 area homes and businesses.




— If you've considered solar power for your energy needs but it hasn't been a practical option because you're a renter or the roof on your home or business is too small or too shaded, a solution is at hand.

And the only requirement is that you're a customer of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.

SunCommon, a company whose stated mission is to tear down barriers to solar energy, has partnered with Orange County Citizens Foundation to build a small scale solar array, an ensemble of solar panels on the foundation's land, capable of powering over 60 area homes and businesses.

SunCommon is a certified B-corporation; a company held accountable to treating communities and its employees with respect and achieving sustainability goals.

The Citizens Foundation is an almost 50 year old non-profit organization whose mission is to improve quality of life for the citizens of Orange County through public policy and advocacy.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, SunCommon General Manager Jeff Irish and Nancy Proyect, president of the Orange County Citizens Foundation, welcomed guests at a reception for local citizens, including the projects first customers, assembled in the Foundation's Seligmann Studio in Sugar Loaf .

Everyone then headed over to a nearby field for an official groundbreaking ceremony.

This new approach to community solar is one of the first of its kind in New York.

SunCommon is building the set of approximately 1,000 panels and homeowners and businesses will be able to buy panels situated on the Citizens Foundation grounds to serve their buildings remotely and with no up front costs while avoiding issues that stymie many people interested in solar.

"Over the last 15 years, we've told about three quarters of the people that have come to us that they can't go solar because their roof is too small, too shaded by trees, or is not pointing toward the sun," said Irish. "But now they can go solar, by purchasing panels in our community solar array."

The community solar array also opens the door to renters, who pay for electricity but don't own a roof.

SunCommon offers solar financing at no up front cost and a low monthly payment promising that you will save thousands over the life of the system, compared to what you would have paid the utility for electricity.

For additional information visit https://suncommon.com.

- Roger Gavan

An example of how it works:

There are low interest finance options but for a cash buyer there is an 8 percent discount.
Orange County Citizens Foundation Community Solar Purchase - 12 Solar Panels
• Total system value: $15,288
• Subtract the cash discount, NYSERDA rebate and 30 percent federal tax credit.
• Net investment: $9,252.05
• Total value of one panel: $1,274
• Subtract the cash discount, NYSERDA rebate, and 30 percent federal tax credit.
• Net Investment: $771




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