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 to bring these benefits to our communities here in the Southern Tier. STSW has helped 69 families go solar, and primarily works with energy companies based in the Southern Tier, which keeps job and economic benefits local. Over the years our partners have included 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 trained and employed 87 student interns as community energy educators, many of whom have gone on to work in solar and other clean energy careers here locally, within NY state, and across the country. We also work in partnership with a variety of area institutions to support energy education in our schools and universities.
STSW Mission Statement
“Southern Tier Solar Works (STSW) is the clean energy program of the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC), a not-for-profit organization that seeks to build a sustainable community through education and collaboration to generate partnerships and civic participation to achieve enduring social, environmental, and economic well-being. STSW works across the region to spur affordable and efficient deployment of solar, energy efficiency and other clean energy solutions by helping to inform you about technologies, policies, and incentives. We support education and training of the energy professionals needed to grow the regional clean energy economy and reap its rewards in our communities.”
Improving our Quality of Life:
Binghamton as an Innovative Place to Live
Our region has a proud history of technological innovation. STSW works with partners across the region to make clean energy an important part of our innovation economy in the 21st century. STSW has partnered with the internationally known Land Art Generator Initiative and is working with 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.
With our support, Broome County has recently adopted a new commercial financing tool called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE), and STSW is promoting newly affordable commercial-industrial scale solar projects and energy efficiency improvements for businesses and non-profits. The very first solar installation was completed this summer using CPACE at the Art Mission Theater in Downtown Binghamton, 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 involved interns and staff working weekly with a small group of students building solar technology demonstration projects based on lesson plans we developed. We also organized teacher training sessions for grades K-5 and 6-12 in partnership with Solar 1, UE, and the Southern Tier Master Teachers program at Binghamton University. These professional development sessions used hands-on activities and teaching strategies to help teachers bring solar and other clean energy technology concepts into their classrooms.
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 energy improvements easy. Our interns have found their experiences very valuable, and many have gone on to further study or employment in the clean energy industry.
Making Solar Accessible to Everyone
Most people cannot go solar on-site because they rent, lack credit, or have an unsuitable site. STSW is a leader in community shared solar (CSS) promotion and development, 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!