Community Report 2017
New York State is taking the lead in building the clean energy economy and Southern Tier Solar Works (STSW) has been working hard since 2014 so that those benefits come to our communities here in the Southern Tier. Since its inception STSW has helped 69 families go solar deploying 647 kw of solar. In keeping with our core values STSW primarily works with energy companies based in the Southern Tier, which keeps jobs and economic benefits local. Over the years we have partnered with ETM Solar Works, located in Endicott, Taitem Engineering and Renovus Solar from Ithaca, Twin Tier Solar and Wind of Elmira, and Halco Energy based in Phelps. We have also hosted over 80 student interns who have gone on to work in solar and other clean energy careers here locally, within NY State, and across the country.
Staff members including Adam Flint and Kerensa Crump are currently pursuing new funding opportunities going into 2018. These will focus heavily on education and community shared solar. These include a grant with the Department of Environmental Conservation Green Skills Training for Youth in Environmental Justice Areas, REVitalize to bring low and moderate income residents to community solar, as well as HeatSmart NY, which will bring energy efficient heating to residents.
STSW Mission Statement
“Southern Tier Solar Works is the clean energy program of the not-for-profit Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition dedicated to developing the solar industry through education and outreach to create jobs, energy savings, and a healthier climate in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga counties.”
Improving our Quality of Life:
Binghamton as an Innovative Place to Live
Our region has a proud history of technological innovation. STSW is working with partners across the region to help make clean energy an important part of the new image for our communities. STSW has partnered with the internationally known Land Art Generator Initiative and is working with the Village of Johnson City and Broome County to secure funding for solar art installations. These installations will generate power while making attractive and interesting spaces a part of ongoing downtown revitalization.
Broome County has recently adopted a new commercial financing tool called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE), and STSW is promoting commercial-Industrial scale solar projects for businesses and non-profits with our commercial solar partner, Solar by CIR. The very first solar installation was completed this summer using CPACE at the Art Mission Theater, where solar awnings and an electric vehicle charging station were installed.
Opportunities for Students in the
Clean Energy Economy
This year our interns worked as mentors at Union Endicott’s Tiger Ventures entrepreneurial high school. This unique partnership allowed interns and staff to work with a small group of students on solar technology development. The interns and staff met with the students weekly and developed lesson plans and demos for the students to work on. We also worked with Solar One to organize teacher training sessions for grades K-5 and 6-12. These professional development sessions used hands-on activities and teaching strategies to help teachers bring solar and other clean energy technology concepts into the classroom.
This year our Energy Corps Internship program will have hosted its 100th intern. Working mainly with students from Binghamton University, interns learn about solar power and energy efficiency, and work in the community to educate others on how to make going solar easy. Our interns have found their experiences here very valuable, and have gone on to study further or find employment in the energy field and related industries . Find out more here.
Making Solar Accessible to Everyone
Sometimes people cannot go solar due to not owning property, poor site conditions, or lack of credit. STSW is in the forefront of promoting community shared solar (CSS), which makes solar power from solar farms available to anyone.
The Bainbridge Guilford solar farm is just one of the CSS projects we are working on currently. When completed, this cooperatively owned project will benefit residents in Chenango County with discounted solar power! New York’s CSS program is still very new, and STSW is at the table in Albany working with regulators and elected officials to be sure that regionally based solar companies can build projects that benefit our residents.