SOMERS, N.Y. Unless you have flown over Somers in a plane or helicopter you may not know that there is a large layout of solar panels on the roof of Somers High School. It was installed about a year ago and has been providing enough electricity to offset about four percent of the schools annual electric bill.
The savings goes beyond that, according to Jerry Robock, the town's Energy Manager. The environment has been spared approximately 45 tons of carbon monoxide that would have been generated by fossil fuel, he said, and saved more than 5,000 gallons of gasoline.
The solar energy complex had its genesis when the Town of Somers applied for a grant to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in 2009. A grant of roughly $275,000 was awarded, and the system was installed at the high school in the summer of 2011.
Robock defines the installation as a step toward sustainability, better management of natural resources and, above all, a solid financial step toward the freezing of what has been an increasingly large budget item in the school budget.
He adds, This is one of the few financial components of the school tax that we can incrementally and permanently address in order to reduce our real estate taxes.