Massive solar panels now cover the top of the Stone Mill Building in Little Falls. It was a huge investment in making the building energy-efficient, but the owners of the building didn’t stop there. They installed electronic controls for all the lighting, and HVAC, so that when people aren’t in the rooms the lights, heating, and air conditioning turn off. They’ve also added a charger for electric cars, making the inside and outside of the building a little greener. Neil Rosenbaum is the COO of Rock City Development, the owner of the building.
“Little Falls has a great footprint. We have a hydro station just ½ a mile up the river. There’s an immense wind-powered project just on the other side of town, and we put a 2.8 megawatt solar farm that provides energy for about 300 families up on some property we own on top of the hill.”
Establishing a lower carbon footprint was one of the primary objectives, and it’s only fitting for a building that started with low emissions. Ken Evans works in Financial Strategy and Business Development for the Rewire Energy Group.
“This building was built in 1839 and started out being powered with hydroelectricity, and then it came full circle to now being powered by solar power.”
The overall cost came in at $220 thousand, but Neil Rosenbaum says there’s plenty of help for those looking to make this kind of investment.
“You have the USDA we got a grant from, NYSERDA, National Grid, I mean there’s just you know everybody’s helping, particularly with the car charger.”
This was a sizeable investment, but the owners should see an immediate change in the electric meter. Energy costs will be reduced by about 85% and those savings add up.
“Over the long-term for us, it’s about a 15% return on our net investment.”
This kind of project might not be suited for every building, but Ken Evans believes it may be worth looking into.
“The payback on a project like this is very, very short. I’d say less than…you know between 3 and 5 years, which is terrific, but again it depends on how it’s financed.”
For more information visit: WKTV News – Utica