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Town of DeWitt Solar Array
Completed in the fall of 2020, the Town of DeWitt Solar Array is at the heart of our sustainability goals and is the culmination of more than 10 years of research, planning, and development. Situated on the site of DeWitt’s former town landfill, alongside the Erie Canalway trail, the array includes 7,290 solar panels spread out over an 11-acre area.
The 2.66 Megawatts of electricity produced annually by the solar array will free the town from using fossil fuels for our municipal electrical needs, including town buildings and facilities, water and sewer pumps, and also our street lights; in 2019 we installed LED street lights throughout the town; the conversion reduces our street light electric costs by two-thirds.
Over the 20-year life of the project, it is projected we will save over $2 million on our municipal energy costs; approximately $70,000 per year. That $2 million savings represents a carbon reduction of 2,605 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 510 vehicles off the road every year for 20 years.
The utilization of our 50-acre former landfill site for the solar array also provided us an extraordinary opportunity to repurpose the site as a grassland bird sanctuary; by instituting a minimal lawn mowing regime we maintain a grassland habitat that accommodates several Endangered, Threatened, Special Concern and High Priority bird species, including: Northern Harrier, Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, and Bobolink. (For a detailed list of other bird species observed at the landfill and surrounding habitats, click here to visit Cornell’s eBird website)
“I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to view polluting fossil fuels – natural gas, oil and coal – like we view using horses as a mode of transportation. Our Solar Array not only benefits Town of DeWitt residents now, but will improve the quality of life for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for many years to come.”
Edward M. Michalenko, Ph.D.,
Creating a sustainable future is a priority in the Town of DeWitt and we welcome the community’s partnership, please send your ideas and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org