As solar energy efforts have risen over the past decade and continue to rapidly increase, Gutchess Lumber is proud to open five community solar installations located on sites in Cortland County, bringing the advantages of clean, renewable energy to more people in the region. These solar sites are expected to begin feeding power to the regional electrical grid in early 2021.
“Gutchess Lumber has a five-generation commitment to the environment,” President Matthew Gutchess said, “and we’re excited to build on that legacy with solar power.” Gutchess Lumber is hosting the installations on cleared land adjacent to our logging operations.
Solar power is created by harnessing the sun through panels and is then converted to usable electricity, which can now be shared throughout the local community. Community solar, also known as “shared solar”, generates renewable photovoltaic (PV) energy that feeds directly into existing utility energy grids. This method is growing rapidly nationwide. In fact, 40 states have at least one community solar project and there are nearly 2 gigawatts of community solar installed across the United States.
Shared solar is gaining popularity, as it gives renters as well as home and business owners equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy. Here are a few of the many benefits of community solar:
- Ease: No panel instillations and no interruptions to service
- Savings: Overall electricity costs are lowered after applying credits to electricity bills
- Environmental impact: Solar power does not contaminate water sources, pollute the air, nor does it utilize traditional fossil fuel combustion (a leader in greenhouse gas emission)
Developed and owned by C2 Energy Capital, these installations will each produce slightly more than 2.6 megawatts —for a total generating capacity of 13.6 megawatts. “With nearly 37,000 solar panels, we’ll produce enough electricity to offset the carbon emissions of 2,300 households each year,” said Candice Michalowicz, C2 Energy managing member. C2 Energy Capital owns and operates 130 solar projects across the country, including 20 megawatts of community systems, that offer subscribers cost-effective renewable energy.
Gutchess Lumber and our employee owners have a long history of sustainability and responsible forest management. Our land holdings already supply renewable timber resources, which sequester carbon from the atmosphere, drawing down additional carbon through natural regeneration and supplying many local government programs with critical tax dollars. By utilizing solar, Gutchess is helping to further reduce the demand for fossil fuels, a major contributor to global warming.
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