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SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER NEWSLETTER:

December 2016

Happy Holidays! 
Please take a moment to enjoy these updates  Sustainable Westchester
Providing Municipalities with an Easier Path to Solar Power
Municipalities throughout Westchester now have an additional opportunity to get power at a reduced rate, while helping to lead the way to a greener economy and reducing their reliance on carbon-based generation—and fixing their cost for electricity for 25 years.

Sustainable Westchester’s Municipal Solar Buyers Group was designed to help local Westchester County municipalities pursue solar-generated electricity by pooling their buying power. First conceived in 2012 as local governments became interested in locking in lower electric rates for the future, it has now completed its first two stages and is well into the third. “I expect we’ll start seeing these panels from the program popping up by the spring,” says Bob Elliott, the organization’s interim executive director. 
 
The MSBG initiative grew out of the fact that in the private sector, nearly 50% of the investment in solar can be earned back with federal and state tax benefits. But since municipalities don’t pay income taxes, these same incentives are not available to them. In lieu of such tax incentives, MSBG substituted the incentive of driving down the cost of solar development by pooling buying power.

“The point of the program is to pool buying power of all of our municipal members, which is nearly all municipalities in Westchester,” said Dan Chorost, a member of SW’s board of directors. 

Read the full article: http://sustainablewestchester.org/2016/12/dec-2016-newsletter-municipal-solar-buyers-group/

Westchester municipalities can take advantage of the 
Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium and tap into big savings
What is one significant thing many municipalities can do to achieve nearly instantaneous cost savings while reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The answer is converting to LED streetlights.

Because they don’t have filaments that can burn out, LED lights have extremely long lives. An LED light can last 100,000 hours, so they have reduced maintenance costs, requiring less frequent replacement. They also give off less heat than other bulbs, and don't contain toxic chemicals like mercury, unlike traditional high-pressure sodium lamps or mercury-vapor lamps.

Even more important, LEDs are highly energy efficient. LEDs actually have double the energy efficiency of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and use 15 percent of the energy of an incandescent bulb while generating more light per watt. (LEDs produce 80 lumens per watt; traditional streetlights only 58 lumens per watt.)

If this sounds like a slam-dunk, it is, which is why Sustainable Westchester is working to help the NYSERDA-funded Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium promote conversion to LED streetlights by Westchester municipalities.

Read the full article: http://sustainablewestchester.org/2016/12/dec-2016-newsletter-leds-offer-municipalities-quick-returns/

 
More Important Initiatives From Sustainable Westchester
Solarize Westchester 2.0
is launching soon! Stay tuned!

The Solarize program has driven over 400 residential and commercial solar installations totaling 3.8 megawatts of capacity to-date.
In the first volley of what we hope will develop into a "Clean Transportation Plan", Sustainable Westchester (SW) is assisting member municipalities to obtain grants and discounts for zero emission, cost-saving Electric Vehicles (EV) as well as charging infrastructure
 
NYSDERDA's Brad Tito speaks about CCAs and other high-impact actions at the December Westchester Green Business Challenge Forum:
 

 
Missed the Westchester Power newsletter? Its available here: https://community.westchesterpower.org/civicrm/mailing/view?id=4&reset=1
 
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has added at least $2.9 billion in regional economic growth; created health benefits worth $10 billion; produced 30,000 new job-years (a job year is one year of full-time employment); and saved consumers at least $618 million on energy, with $4 billion more expected in the years to come: Read more here: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/jackson-morris/rggis-year-end-review-climate-progress-more-come

Westchester is an EPA air quality "non-attainment" zone, and the bus system needs a reboot. Houston's answer is electric buses. Read more here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Metro-to-introduce-electric-bus-in-move-to-cut-10643461.php
 
Copyright © 2016 Sustainable Westchester, All rights reserved.

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