Yates County legislators are considering installing solar panels on the former Yates County landfill property on Long Point Road in the Town of Torrey. Richard Lu from Abundant Solar will make a presentation to the Legislature’s Public Works committee at 11:30 a.m. March 4.

County officials are also talking about the possible installation of a charging station for electric vehicles. Acting County Administrator Winona Flynn told legislators in February the county might be eligible for reimbursement of the cost for installation.

District I Legislator Timothy Dennis said a charging station should be part of an overall plan to achieve Clean Energy Community designation, and Legislative Chairman Douglas Paddock said, “Yates County should be seriously thinking about getting an electric car.”

District I Legislator Rick Willson voiced concerns about taking valuable parking space and the cost of construction and upkeep.

The Town of Starkey has an energy efficiency head start on the rest of the county, after town officials took several steps to qualify as a Clean Energy Community.

Starkey installed solar panels generating energy at the town barns on Glenora Road last year.

The town has also installed a geo-thermal heating and cooling system in the town hall, located on Seneca Street in Dundee.

Supervisor George Lawson says it’s a little early to quantify the actual savings from the measures since the projects were just completed in the fall.  “We haven’t banked any electricity, so we still get bills,” he said. A check of the photovoltaic production shows the town’s solar panels have generated 6.3 Mwh of power and saved 9,761 lbs. of CO2 emissions

The town, one of 239 communities designated as a Clean Energy Community in New York, but the only one in Yates County also:

• approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the Town’s municipal buildings.

• deployed an Electric Vehicle in the Town’s vehicle fleet.

• adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approvals process for local solar projects.

• completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officials.

“After a 2013 survey of town residents found strong support to protect air and water quality, the Town of Starkey made a strong commitment to utilize clean energy and cut costs,” said George Lawson, Town Supervisor. “We are proud of this designation and are committed to providing a cleaner, greener environment for our community.”

The Villages of Penn Yan and Rushville, and Town of Italy have each completed one of the high impact actions: Penn Yan and Italy have completed Energy Code Enforcement Training, and Rushville has completed benchmarking.

Yates County and other municipalities in the county could take similar steps to be eligible for grant funds of up to $100,000.

Counties, towns and villages with fewer than 40,000 residents that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated as Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for up to $100,000 in funding. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding through Sept. 30 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Grant funds are provided as part of the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.