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Citizens Energy and NYSERDA announce completion of solar project to serve Upstate Cerebral Palsy

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                             October 24, 2019
Contact: Hannah Goetz


BARNEVELD, N.Y. – Citizens Energy Corporation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the completion of a 1.4-megawatt solar project in the Mohawk Valley. Located in Oneida County, Upstate Cerebral Palsy is the sole beneficiary of the commercial solar project, which supports Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal goals to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including the installation of 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has positioned itself as one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation and is helping all New Yorkers realize the benefits of clean renewable energy projects like this one serving Upstate Cerebral Palsy. We are proud to partner with Citizens Energy and Upstate Cerebral Palsy on their environmental stewardship and commitment to reducing emissions in support of the state’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”

Michael Kennedy, Director of Business Development, Citizens Energy said, “Citizens Energy is committed to a renewable energy future that both protects the planet and includes the participation of all sectors of society, including those in need and those who serve them, like our partner Upstate Cerebral Palsy. We have built solar arrays from California to the Carolinas, including the largest community solar project in the country. We’re proud to be soaking up some New York sun and helping a deserving organization save money with clean energy.”

Geno DeCondo, Upstate Cerebral Palsy Executive Director, said, “Over the past seven decades, Upstate Cerebral Palsy has established itself as a leader in providing innovative services for people in need. Upstate Cerebral Palsy is thrilled to partner with Citizens Energy and NYSERDA. The newly constructed 7-acre solar farm will provide discounted electricity to over 50 of our sites. The sites house or provide programs to thousands of people with developmental disabilities and the nearly 2000 staff that support them. With the help of our partners and consulting group, WMR Services LLC, we have been able to partner with Citizens Energy Corporation to achieve cost savings to support our critical programs, and at the same time harness renewable energy that reduces emissions and our carbon footprint.”

NYSERDA, through the NY-Sun program, provided nearly $300,000 in support for the array, which is comprised of 3,600 panels. The project will offset almost all of Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s annual electricity load, providing an estimated savings to the organization of more than $30,000 annually. Located behind the organization’s Barneveld facility, the 1.4-megawatt array will produce over 1.5 million kilowatt-hours annually, the equivalent of taking 184 cars off the road or powering 245 homes annually.

The solar array is owned and operated by Citizens Energy and was developed to contribute to New York State’s renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the company’s 40-year mission of using successful energy ventures to generate revenues to make life’s basic needs, especially energy, more affordable for elderly and low-income households. The company was founded in 1979 by former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, who continues to serve as its Chairman and President.

Upstate Cerebral Palsy is a multi-faceted health and human services organization that provides a broad range of support and programs for individuals with special needs and their families, across the lifespan. The Organization’s mission is to provide innovative programs and services that support people and create opportunities to fulfill life choices, one person at a time. Upstate Cerebral Palsy is a major provider of comprehensive services to 15,000 individuals annually in Central New York, with over 2,000 employees at over 60 locations.

NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York has increased more than 1,700 percent and leveraged nearly $3.8 billion in private investments. These investments have supported nearly 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across the state. Businesses and organizations interested in learning more about solar energy can visit the NY-Sun website.

Senator Joseph Griffo said, “It is important that we continue to seek ways to produce energy from as many sources as possible. This solar project will benefit Upstate Cerebral Palsy by helping the organization offset its electrical costs and reduce its carbon footprint in Oneida County.”

Assemblyman Robert Smullen said, "With over 2,000 employees at more than 80 locations, United Cerebral Palsy is a vital part of our community that provides exceptional service to those living with Cerebral Palsy. I commend them for working with NYSERDA and Citizens Energy Corporation on this solar installation that will reduce operating costs and help power United Cerebral Palsy into the future with clean, renewable energy."

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